Despite Profit, Tulsa Oil Company To Lay Off 2,000 Employees

Thursday, January 29th 2015, 11:05 pm
By: News On 6

Falling oil prices are costing 2,000 people their jobs. Tulsa-based Helmerich and Payne said it's cutting back production and slashing thousands of jobs in the process.

People are getting laid off, even though Helmerich and Payne has been seeing record revenues.

CEO, John Lindsay talked about that and the plans to have fewer rigs pumping, which means fewer employees.

Executives at Helmerich and Payne told shareholders the company had record revenues for the first quarter of the 2015; but falling oil prices are forcing cutbacks in production.

“The rig count reduction thus far has been more swift than many expected," Lindsay said.

The CEO said with oil prices at six-year lows, drilling is down and Helmerich and Payne is bracing for losses throughout the rest of the fiscal year.

It's because of that, Lindsay said, the company is laying off 2,000 field workers.

“This is without question the worst part of a downturn," he said.

Lindsay said there is too much oil on the market, and hundreds of drilling rigs are being shut down.

The layoffs are directly tied to the rigs that have stopped pumping.

Tulsa Chamber President Mike Neal said the layoffs are unfortunate and hopes the cuts will not be long term.

Neal said he's working to create an energy council, which will bring together leaders of the energy industry in Tulsa to tackle issues like the layoffs.

"Hopefully this will be something that can turn around relatively quickly, and that with the return of prices, I'll think we'll see the immediate return of increased production, increase operations from drilling rigs and consequently increase employment," he said.

Lindsay said, “Our experience has taught us that in the face of a very negative market like we see today, and a growing perception and panic of weaker forever prices, the market does work and eventually oil fundamentals improve."

Lindsay said he still believes H&P is the best positioned drilling contractor.

The company said it still has 31 new rigs which all have long term contracts.