Savage Services Cuts Jobs in Bakken

More Oilfield Layoffs
More Oilfield Layoffs

Savage Services Corp, a North Dakota railcar and logistics facility, laid off 10% of its full time employees this week. Savage is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the region and employed 118 people before this layoff.

Company sources blame the layoffs on decreased demand for railcars to transport Bakken crude oil, saying that as pipeline construction has increased, the demand for railcars is the lowest it has been in three years. This is contrary to other data about the prevalence of transporting crude oil by rail. In May, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its latest  data for crude by rail across the country that shows a 1700% increase over the last five years.

Related: Crude by Rail Up 1700%

It has been almost two years since Savage announced the expansion of the Bakken Petroleum Services Hub in Trenton, ND as a result of its acquisition of Ft. Worth Pipe. The new terminal added oil country tubular goods (OCTG) storage, transloading, trucking, threading, inspection and clean and drift services for oil and gas producers in the Williston Basin.

Since crude prices plunged last year, oil company executives are working to cut costs wherever they can, but tightening the belt doesn’t necessarily mean more layoffs. Over the next two years, the majority of the oil and gas executives (76%) expect to see their organizations’ ranks to  increase or stay the same over the next two years. Read more here.

Halliburton Lays off 10% of Workforce

Halliburton Reports 2015 Q1 Loss
Halliburton Reports 2015 Q1 Loss

This week, Halliburton announced first quarter losses of $643 million and acknowledged that they have cut 9,000 jobs over the past two quarters.

The Houston-based oil giant has been forced to scale back operations in light of plummeting energy prices. They confirmed on Monday that the number of layoffs represent approximately 10% of their workforce.

Related: Halliburton Closing Minot Facility


Acting CFO Christian Garcia said “We are continuing to take a hard look at our operations and additional actions will likely be required in the second quarter. We believe that the long-term prospects of the industry remain sound. We are excited about the pending Baker Hughes transaction, which will significantly enhance the growth potential of our organization.

In light of the $35 billion takeover of Baker Hughes, Halliburton is selling several business to secure the necessary regulatory clearance. Once the merger is approved by antitrust regulators, the new entity will surpass Texas-based Schlumberger as the world’s largest oil drilling company.

Related: Halliburton to Merge With Baker Hughes


Halliburton Closing Minot Facility

Halliburton Closing Minot Facility
Halliburton Closing Minot Facility

Beginning April 1st, Halliburton will no longer have a presence in Minot, North Dakota. A spokesperson confirmed Tuesday that the company will suspend operations and close the facility, transferring employees to their Williston and Dickinson locations.

This is the latest in a string of announcements from Halliburton about their efforts to streamline operations in the face of the current crude pricing downturn. Earlier this year the company reported worldwide layoffs of 6,500 people followed by an announcement that they would close their facility in Regina, Saskatchewan in March.

Related: Energy Giants Announce Layoffs

Spokesperson Susie McMichae said that “The company continue to make adjustments to its workforce based on current business conditions. We value every employee we have, but unfortunately we are faced with the difficult reality that reductions are necessary to worth through this challenging market environment.

Energy Giants Announce Layoffs

oil prices and layoffs
oil prices and layoffs

Lower crude prices are a double edged sword. The average consumer may enjoy the benefits as cheap fuel reduces the costs of goods and services, but for those whose livelihood relies on the energy industry, the extra cash will be of little solice if they no longer have a job. It has taken some time for the reality of the low oil prices to finally trickle down, but after months of plummeting crude, the boom will become bust for the many who will soon face a pink slip.

Related: Low Oil Prices Offer Uneven Effect

Since November, one company after another announced massive reductions in their 2015 budgets as they have scrambled to cope with the dramatic 50% drop in crude prices since the summer. The next predictable step began last week as companies announced layoffs and prepare to scale back drilling operations.

Amidst the happy refrains from people who are enjoying lower gasoline prices, there is the occasional cynical comment that suggests the only ones who are hurt by low crude prices are the nameless, faceless, deep pockets of the energy companies. This represents a short-sighted and narrow view of the current reality facing workers, families and local economies.

Not only do layoffs affect workers directly, but a report authored by Dr. Robert W. “Bill” Gilmer for U.H.’s Bauer School of Business estimates that with each new energy job created/eliminated, there are three - four other jobs that are also create/eliminated.

Discussing the impact on Houston, Gilmer predicts that “These cuts will be felt from Houston’s machine shops and factories to its office towers. The question becomes how this strange mix of good news and bad balances out to affect Houston’s economic prospects in 2015 and beyond.

Since January 1st, a handful of companies have announced layoffs and it is only a matter of time before others follow. Some analysts predict things could get very ugly as the layoffs extend to local governments, small business and energy-supporting industries. Highlighted below are several giants who recently announced layoffs for early 2015.

Schlumberger: reported layoffs of a staggering 9000 workers more

Halliburton: recently laid off workers in Houston, but declined to give a specific number more

Apache: Also laid off an undisclosed number of workers worldwide more

U.S. Steel: Over 700 expected to be let go starting in march more