Anadarko Petroleum cutting 17 percent of workforce

In this Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009 file photo, crew members with Anadarko Petroleum Corp., work on a drilling platform on a Weld County farm near Mead, Colo. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)
In this Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009 file photo, crew members with Anadarko Petroleum Corp., work on a drilling platform on a Weld County farm near Mead, Colo. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)

HOUSTON — Anadarko Petroleum Corp., the fourth-largest U.S. oil company, is cutting about 1,000 jobs, or roughly 17 percent of its workforce, to cope with a relentless downturn in crude oil and natural gas prices, a company spokesman said Thursday.

Anadarko spokesman John Christiansen told Fuelfix the laid off workers will be streaming from its U.S. headquarters, which is comprised of office towers in the Woodlands, and other offices across the company, on Thursday.

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Executives of the Woodlands-based oil explorer had said last month it would reduce its capital spending by half this year amid low oil prices and evaluate its staffing needs as it reduces activity.

“We’ve been very carefully evaluating what our staffing levels should be, given the downcycle,” Christiansen said Thursday. “These are our co-workers and friends, so this has been a difficult day.”

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After an 18-month oil bust, energy layoffs are nothing new. Oil producers, their suppliers, service providers and equipment makers, along with refineries and pipeline operators, have so far cut more than 320,000 jobs worldwide, according to Houston consultancy Graves & Co., which has tracked industry layoffs since the downturn began.

Within the United States, Anadarko produces oil and gas in Colorado’s DJ Basin, in the Permian Basin in West Texas, in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere. After ConocoPhillips, it’s the second-largest independent U.S. oil company, which means it doesn’t have its own refining assets like Chevron Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp.

The company did not disclose where the jobs were cut, though Christiansen said the cuts were “spread across most organizations” within the company.

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It’s about the same size reduction that Apache Corp. made last year. Houston-based Apache cut more than 1,000 employees, or 20 percent of its workforce, through direct reductions and asset sales in 2015, which included its liquefied natural gas assets in Canada and Australia and its upstream unit in Australia.

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About The Author

Collin Eaton joined the Houston Chronicle's team of energy reporters in 2013, after covering the financial industry for another publication. He writes mainly about U.S. oil companies and developments in international oil markets.