ConocoPhillips to Lay Off Another 1,000 Energy Workers

Energy Dow Jones Newswires

Oil barrels sit empty at a recycling yard in Longmont, Colorado February 2, 2015. (Reuters)

ConocoPhillips, one of the largest U.S. shale producers, is cutting another 6% of its workforce.

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The Houston-based company confirmed Thursday that it will lay off about 1,000 employees this year, mostly from North American energy jobs in the U.S. and Canada. The cuts were outlined in a meeting with management Thursday.

Hundreds of employees will be laid off in Texas, where much of ConocoPhillips's shale oil-and-gas operations are focused, while as many as 300 job cuts will come in Calgary, Alberta, out of its oil-sands division, sources familiar with the matter said.

The company has already cut 3,400 jobs, or roughly 18% of employees, since September 2014, when the price of oil fell below $100 a barrel, according to filings with regulators. In the past 18 months, ConocoPhillips has slashed spending in response to the downturn, including deferring certain oil-and-gas drilling projects and laying off thousands of workers since the summer of 2015.

"We have taken several steps as a company to adapt to lower and more volatile prices and strengthen our position coming out of the downturn," said Daren Beaudo, a spokesman for the company. "Over the past couple years, we've significantly reduced our capital activities and finished some major projects, which left us with more organizational capacity than we need."

Also this week, Royal Dutch Shell PLC laid off 190 offshore workers from its deep water Gulf of Mexico operations, or roughly 25% of that division. The cuts were part of Shell's previously announced plan to trim 2,200 positions globally this year, said Kimberly Windon, a company spokeswoman.

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"We are making these changes in order to remain competitive and better position Shell's Gulf of Mexico projects for future growth," she said.