Apache Corp. and several U.S. oil and gas companies plan to lay off hundreds of workers, according to state filings, adding to a 3,500-person furlough that oilfield services giant Halliburton Co. announced last week as the price of oil plunged.
Apache said it would cut 85 people in its Midland, Texas office, while oilfield firm FTS International Inc. said it would lay off 35 workers in Fort Worth, Texas and 85 workers in Hobbs, N.M.
Tenaris SA said it will cut 223 Baytown, Texas workers from its steel pipe manufacturer IPSCO Koppel Tubulars, a business it recently acquired, the filings said. That cut is part of a 900-person workforce reduction across the U.S. as a result of lower oil prices.
Oil prices fell to their lowest level in 18 years this week amid a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia and as the spread of the coronavirus sapped demand.
On March 20, U.S. crude futures were on track for their largest weekly decline since 2008, settling below $23 a barrel.
Prior to the oil price crash, Apache already had planned a 10% to 15% average reduction in its global workforce. In January, the Houston-based firm said it would close its San Antonio office, affecting 272 jobs as it curtails drilling in the Alpine High field in a remote corner of the Permian Basin.
Apache did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It started layoffs in Midland on March 18, according to a letter to the state.
Tenaris will begin its layoffs on April 17, it told the state. The company said the cuts were "due to unforeseeable business circumstances" and pointed to coronavirus and the price war.
Halliburton earlier this week said it would furlough 3,500 workers for two months to handle the steep decline in oil prices.
The formal instruction from the energy ministry follows a determination that the Zama discovery made in the Talos-operated block in the Gulf of Mexico extends into Pemex's neighboring block.
Check out the latest oil and gas drilling activity highlights from around the world featured in the July issue of E&P including two significant oil discoveries offshore Mexico and Chesapeake Energy Marcellus Shale completions in Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna County.
Although greenfield projects have been put on hold, short-term economics offer a safety net for the U.S. offshore oil and gas industry.