Low Oil Prices Prompts Apache, Schlumberger to Lay Off Workers

Apache Corp. confirmed to Rigzone on Thursday plans to lay off workers. Apache is the latest company to announce layoffs due to weakening oil prices, which have prompted companies to slash their 2015 budget plans and reduce their workforces.

The staff reduction constitutes less than 5 percent of the Houston-based company’s global workforce, an Apache spokesperson told Rigzone.

“The decision to part with employees is always a very difficult one, and it’s a step we took after pursuing other measures including a slowdown in activity and reduction in budgets given the current price environment,” the spokesperson noted.

On Thursday, oilfield service firm Schlumberger Ltd. said it would lay off approximately 9,000 workers from its global operations due to lower oil prices and the expected cutbacks in exploration and production spending this year.

The company expects to record a $296 million charge associated with the layoffs, the company said in its fourth quarter 2014 earnings report.

“In this uncertain environment, we continue to focus on what we can control,” Schlumberger said.

While global oil demand continues to rise, available supply is significantly higher, depressing oil prices and prompting exploration and production companies to cut spending. The company has already taken a number of steps to restructure and resize the company, which led to a record number of charges in the fourth quarter.

“We are convinced that performance must now be driven by an accelerated change in the way we work through our transformation program,” the company said.

This program includes the delivery of new technology that improves the performance of its customers’ reservoirs; increases in efficiency and reliability that reduce overall finding, development and production costs; and opportunities to grow from more integration – all are significant drivers of our own and our customers’ performance.”

A recent Rigzone survey found that oil and gas managers were planning to scale back their hiring plans this year due to declining oil prices and an uncertain economic environment.


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