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Halliburton Lays Off 1,000 Employees

Halliburton reduced the number of staff at its headquarters by 22 percent or about 1,000 people as persistently low oil prices continued to bite, killing business for oilfield services providers.

"These actions are difficult but necessary as we adjust our business to customers' decreased activity," a spokeswoman for the company said as quoted by Reuters, amid the "unforeseeable, dramatic business downturn caused by the coronavirus and unprecedented commodity price decline." 

The new job cuts come on top of another 350, made in Oklahoma last month, with Halliburton citing the move as "a necessary action as we work to successfully adapt to challenging market conditions," Halliburton said in a statement at the time. "As we make workforce reductions, we are taking numerous other actions to reduce our costs, including reducing the salaries of the Halliburton Executive Committee."

Halliburton also earlier furloughed 3,500 employees at its headquarters, the Houston Chronicle's Sergio Chapa notes, adding that according to data Halliburton filed with the SEC, its international workforce had shrunk from some 55,000 at the start of the year to about 50,000.

Halliburton last month reported a net loss of $1 billion for the first quarter although it also booked an improvement in operating profits.

"Our industry is facing the dual shock of a massive drop in global oil demand coupled with a resulting oversupply. Consequently, we expect activity in North America land to sharply decline during the second quarter and remain depressed through year-end, impacting all basins," CEO Jeff Miller said in comments on the results.

The last downturn between 2014 and 2016 cost the U.S. oil industry some 200,000 jobs. Many of these were in oilfield services, as companies lowered their rates to stay afloat and minimized all spend. Now, unless we see a quick reversal in the industry's fortunes, things could end up even worse because of the combination of supply overhang and demand depression.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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