Halliburton cuts jobs in Houston

HOUSTON – Halliburton Co. said Tuesday it has cut jobs in Houston because of weakening market conditions as oil prices slide, but the oil field services company refused to say how many employees it let go.

“While these reductions are difficult, we believe they are necessary to work through this challenging market,” Halliburton spokeswoman Emily Mir said in an emailed statement. Mir declined to say how many jobs were cut in Houston.

“We continue to monitor the business environment closely and will make adjustments to the cost structure of our business as needed,” she said.

Texas Workforce Commission spokeswoman Debbie Pitts said the state agency hasn’t received any notifications from Halliburton of job cuts, but that in some cases companies aren’t required to notify state regulators.

On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas said it projects Texas employers will add 235,000 to 295,000 workers to their payrolls this year. Outside of that, a Dallas Fed model of how oil prices affect U.S. jobs shows the oil slide could cost Texas some 140,000 jobs.

Halliburton’s layoffs in Houston follow its announcement last month that it would cut 1,000 jobs across multiple regions in the eastern hemisphere.

U.S. oil prices have crumpled to less than half their value in June 2014. Firms including Hercules Offshore and oil field service firms owned by OFS Energy Fund have said they’ve laid off hundreds of employees in recent weeks.

Halliburton will report its fourth quarter earnings on Jan. 20.

The company had around 6,500 local employees in March 2014 and it has around 6,200 workers here now. However, the gap between the company’s local headcount this year and last doesn’t necessarily reflect job cuts alone.

“Halliburton sees changes in its employee numbers on an ongoing basis due to normal attrition and business activity,” Mir said in an email.