Marathon Oil Corp has laid off around 100 U.S. employees, or about 5% of its total workforce, a company spokeswoman told Reuters on Feb. 11, days after the U.S. oil and gas producer cut salaries for top executives and board members.
Although oil prices have raced back above the pre-pandemic level of $60/bbl in recent months, producers are focusing on improving balance sheets instead of raising output, as demand forecasts hinge on vaccine rollouts.
World oil demand in 2021 will rebound more slowly than previously thought, OPEC said on Feb. 11, adding to a series of downgrades as the impact of the pandemic lingers.
Marathon Oil’s spokeswoman said the actions were part of its “commitment to continuously optimize our cost structure.”
It had about 2,000 full-time employees worldwide at the end of 2019, according to its latest available employment figures, with 74% working in the U.S.
Based in Houston, Marathon is active in oil-rich resource plays, such as the Eagle Ford in Texas, the Bakken in North Dakota, the STACK and SCOOP in Oklahoma, and the Permian Basin in New Mexico.
In the U.S., Marathon’s production averaged 297,000 net boe/d for third-quarter 2020. The company also raised its full year U.S. oil-equivalent production guidance by 5,000 net boe/d at the midpoint to between 300,000 and 310,000 boe/d for 2020.
Marathon also has international operations in Equatorial Guinea, where the company averaged 73,000 net boe/d of production for third-quarter 2020, including 13,000 net bbl/d of oil.
The company is expected to join other U.S. oil producers in posting an annual loss when it reports fourth-quarter results on Feb. 17.
This story was updated at 4:07 p.m. CST Feb. 11.
The drop, according to Norway-headquartered Rystad Energy, could result in oil reserves running out within 15 years if large commercial discoveries are not made quickly.
The Liuhua 29-2 field is expected to reach peak production of about 41 million cubic feet of natural gas per day in 2021.
The project includes the drilling of nine wells and is expected to reach production of 40,000 barrels of oil per day by mid-2022, Total said.