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Halliburton cuts 8 percent of North American workforce amid fracking slump

Houston oilfield service company Halliburton said it cut 8 percent of its North American workforce as it took fleets of hydraulic fracturing equipment from the field  in response to a continued slump in demand for fracking services in the United States and Canada.

The job cuts occurred during the second quarter, which runs from April to June, said company spokeswoman Emily Mir. Halliburton did not disclose the number of jobs cut.

The company has 60,000 employees worldwide but does not provide a headcount by region.

Halliburton’s profits plunged to $75 million in the second quarter, down from $511 million during the same period in 2018. Its revenues slipped to $5.9 billion from $6.1 billion from a year earlier.

Halliburton and other companies in the oilfield service sector are still feeling the effects of a fourth quarter crude oil price crash that continues to cut demand for hydraulic fracturing services.

During a Monday morning investors’ call, Halliburton CEO Jeff Miller said the company has pulled unused hydraulic fracturing fleets from the field and will not redeploy them until it can see “acceptable returns.”

“The pressure pumping market remains oversupplied and we’re not afraid to reduce our fleet size, as it contributes to righting the supply and demand imbalance,” Miller said. “This may impact our top line in the near term, but saves labor and maintenance costs and I believe will lead to better margins.”

Founded in 1919 and headquartered in Houston, Halliburton finished 2018 with a $1.66 billion profit on $24 billion of revenue — making it the second largest oilfield service company in the world.

This article first appeared on the Houston Chronicle – an Energy Voice content partner. For more from the Houston Chronicle click here.

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