Less than a month after Baker Hughes decided to lay off about 7,000 of its employees, in the wake of a nearly 60 per cent drop in crude oil prices, oilfield services giant Halliburton announced redundancies of between 5,200 and 6,400 workers.
The announced job cuts, which the company explained, were caused by a “challenging market environment”, include the previously-announced plans to trim 1,000 jobs outside the U.S.
According to The New York Times as many as 90 rigs a week are being dropped across American shale fields over the last couple of months in the most rapid deceleration of drilling in decades. Service fees have dropped by an average of 15 percent in recent months and are expected to go down further.
Despite some analysts saying that falling crude prices will not affect employment in the sector, oilfield companies began the year by shedding workers, with No. 1 among service companies, Schlumberger, announcing the loss of 9,000 jobs in January. It didn’t take long for Halliburton, the second oilfield company in terms of size, to follow suit.
As Halliburton is heavily involved in unconventional oil and gas operations, it is generally believed that the redundancies will hit shale exploration hot-spots, such as: Texas, Colorado, North Dakota and the Marcellus Shale areas of Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Halliburton denied that the redundancies are in any way connected to the recent acquisition of the Baker Hughes service company.
In a statement released to the BBC, Halliburton said: “We value every employee we have, but unfortunately we are faced with the difficult reality that reductions are necessary to work through this challenging market environment.”
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