Apache workers face layoffs as oil prices fall

HOUSTON — Apache Corp. Wednesday began laying off workers across the globe, a company spokeswoman said, as it became the latest energy company to shed jobs in response to falling oil prices.

A company spokeswoman did not say exactly how many workers face layoffs but pegged the number at less than 5 percent of its 5,000-employee workforce. The layoffs are not concentrated in Houston and are occurring worldwide, she said.

The layoffs do not target a particular type of job function, she said.

“The decision to part with employees is always a very difficult one, and it’s a step we took after pursuing other measures including a slowdown in activity and reduction in budgets given the current price environment,” the Apache spokeswoman said in a statement.

The Houston-based exploration and production company last month announced plans to sell its stake in a pair of international liquefied natural gas projects for $2.75 billion.

That move followed November’s decision to cut its 2015 North American capital budget from $5.4 billion to $4 billion.

That month, Apache also announced a deal to sell assets in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma in a pair of transactions valued at $1.4 billion.

Those transactions came as investors pushed Apache to slim down, pare back its operations and focus exclusively on the U.S land drilling.

The company earned more than $10 billion from 2012 to 2014 as part of its divestment strategy that involved shedding assets and stakes in projects in Argentina, shallow-water Gulf of Mexico and Egypt, among other places.