Oilfield service companies, Liberty Oilfield Services Inc. and NCS Multistage Holdings Inc., announced staff cuts this week as activity in U.S. shale fields grinds to a halt due to the collapse in oil prices.
In response to oil prices nearing a two-decade low, many oil and gas companies have been forced to halt drilling and well completions as prices falling below the cost of production. Reductions are falling hardest on fracking providers, several of which have already announced jobs cuts already, including FTS International Inc. and ProPetro Holding Corp.
On April 2, Reuters reported an estimated 31 hydraulic fracturing fleets, or 11% of those currently operating, were turned off in the last week citing data from consultancy Primary Vision. More than 40% of the 421 operating a year ago have also been side-lined.
Liberty Oilfield Services is cutting its workforce by 7%, according to a report by Reuters citing a state filing. The Denver-based hydraulic fracturing service provider kept its workforce intact during the previous oil bust in 2014-16, the Reuters report said.
Liberty executives have also agreed to take a 30% cut in base salary, up from a recent 20% cut, the company said in a release on April 2.
Additionally, NCS Multistage, a Houston-based provider of products and services for well completions, plans to reduce its workforce by 20%, or by roughly over 80 employees. The company also plans to furlough certain employees and engineers and implement salary reductions for substantially all remaining employees including reductions to executive salaries, according to a release by the company on April 2.
Reuters contributed to this report.
Activist investor Elliott Management offered to buy oil and gas producer QEP Resources in an all-cash deal valued at $2.07 billion, saying that the company is "deeply undervalued."
Enbridge sold a natural gas pipeline transportation and gathering system in the southeastern U.S., according to Black Bear Transmission, which said it had acquired the assets for an undisclosed amount.
Expect plenty of capital, plenty of volatility, plenty of shifts in investor strategies—and plenty of unfolding stories to track as the new year progresses.