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Halliburton Slashes 800 Oklahoma Jobs As Shale Slowdown Bites

Oilfield services provider Halliburton has notified the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development that it would dismiss 800 employees, the Oklahoma agency’s spokesman David Crow tells The Associated Press, as oilfield services firms continue to cut costs amid slowing U.S. shale growth.

Halliburton sent a letter to the Oklahoman agency, announcing “mass layoff” of 808 employees in what is expected to be permanent job cuts in El Reno, Oklahoma. The company is also closing an office just outside Oklahoma City.

The facility which Halliburton is closing served as the command center for Halliburton’s Remote Operations to monitor well completions across all of Oklahoma and areas in Colorado, Kansas, and Texas, according to The Oklahoman.

El Reno’s mayor Matt White told The Oklahoman that Halliburton’s decision to permanently eliminate more than 800 jobs did not come as a complete surprise, because officials had expected potential layoffs for some time amid slowing activity in Oklahoma’s oil and gas sector.

Earlier this year, the U.S. shale patch started to brace itself for an extended period of weak oil prices and drillers and oilfield services firms began to cut staff and reduce budgets to weather the slowdown in North America’s fracking growth.

Two months ago, Halliburton said it would lay off 650 workers across four U.S. states—Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota and Wyoming—due to “local market conditions.”

“Making this decision was not easy, nor taken lightly, but unfortunately it was necessary as we work to align our operations to reduced customer activity,” Halliburton said in early October.

Ten days later, Halliburton’s president and CEO Jeff Miller said on the Q3 earnings call that the firm stacked more equipment in Q3 than it did in the first six months of 2019.

“While this impacts our revenues, we would rather err on the side of stacking than work for insufficient margins and wear out our equipment,” Miller said, and noted “We continue to evaluate the way we work and we’ll keep reducing costs in our North American operations.”   

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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