Oilfield firm Halliburton cuts more US jobs as oil bust deepens

Staff cuts could begin this week at its Duncan, Oklahoma facility

Oilfield services firm Halliburton on Monday was cutting about 350 employees in Oklahoma, according to a filing with the state, amid a deepening oil bust from the spread of coronavirus and a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

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Staff cuts could begin this week at its Duncan, Oklahoma facility, the filing said, and will be permanent. The facility is expected to remain open.

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Energy companies have slashed spending since oil prices this year crashed more than 60%, taking prices below $30 a barrel, less than the cost of production. Halliburton last month said it would furlough 3,500 workers in Houston to cope with lower prices.

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“This was a difficult decision, but is necessary action as we face challenging market conditions,” spokeswoman Emily Mir said in a email.

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U.S. crude futures were trading at $27.29 a barrel on Monday morning, down about 3.8% after OPEC+ members delayed a meeting on output cuts.

Denver, Colorado-based hydraulic fracturing firm Liberty Oilfield Services also announced workforce reductions in the past week. Liberty said it will cut 204 workers in North Dakota, on top of the 183 it was cutting in Colorado. Shares of Halliburton were up 2.2% to $7.74. They are down 68% year-to-date.