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Halliburton Laying Off 5,000 More People

Halliburton Co., in survival mode as oilfields are shunned worldwide, is sending another 5,000 people home, slashing its workforce by another 8%, the company confirmed on Thursday.

The No. 2 oilfield services (OFS) provider, and No. 1 hydraulic fracturing operator in North America, has reduced its global headcount by almost 25%, or 22,000 people, since the end of 2014 (see Shale Daily, Sept. 24, 2015; April 20, 2015. At the end of last year, Halliburton employed about 65,000, versus 80,000 at year-end 2014.

Halliburton had laid off another 4,000 people in the final three months of 2015, and CEO Dave Lesar warned in January that more people could be given pink slips (see Shale DailyJan. 25).

"Ongoing market conditions" are the reason for the layoffs, spokeswoman Emily Mir told NGI's Shale Daily.

"We regret having to make this decision, but unfortunately we are faced with the difficult reality that reductions are necessary to work through this challenging market environment," she said. "Following these workforce reductions, we anticipate Halliburton will have reduced its global headcount between 26,000 to 27,000 employees since its peak in 2014."

Details about specific businesses and the number of employees by location "is competitive information and therefore unavailable," she said. The reductions are unrelated to Halliburton's pending merger with No. 3 OFS, Baker Hughes Inc.

Originally set to close in 2015, the merger has been under scrutiny by worldwide regulators because of antitrust concerns. Halliburton is awaiting a final OK from U.S. and European regulators concerning proposed divestitures (see Daily GPIFeb. 3).

Schlumberger Ltd., the No. 1 OFS, in January said it trimmed its global workforce by another 10,000 in the final months of last year (see Shale Daily, Jan. 22). CEO Paal Kibsgaard said in January he was "optimistic" no more jobs would be be lost. No. 4, Weatherford International plc, expects to lay off another 6,000 people by the end of June, bringing the total number of people let go globally to about 20,000 (see Shale DailyFeb. 5).

The energy industry has lost tens of thousands of jobs since oil prices collapsed in 2014, and thousands more people working in indirect industries also have been given their walking papers. In recent fourth quarter conference calls, many producers have said workforces have been reduced sharply.

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