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.

Photo: Drake Well Museum and Park
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1860: Pennsylvania oil crash
The early U.S. oil industry experienced its first major
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1901: Texas' first boom
The first oil geyer at the Spindletop oilfield south of
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And its first bust
In 1902, Spindletop wells produced 17.5 million barrels of oil. Just
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The second Spindletop boom
When oil prospectors began drilling on the flanks of the oil
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1930: East Texas Oilfield discovered
The first well struck in the massive East Texas O
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Feds step in
Oil production from the East Texas field doubled in two years t
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1947 Post-war boom
Demand for oil skyrocketed, Read Full Caption
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1973: OPEC turmoil sends price skyrocketing
Oil prices quadrupled in 1973 in the middle
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1973: Texas producers set records
The beginnings of the OPEC oil embargo and fuel
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1980 Price peak
Prices peaked at over $35 per barrel after demand spiked following the e
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1986 Oil crash
The price of crude oil crashed 62 percent, from a high if $27 to below $1
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Texas banks fail
From 1987 through 1989, 71 percent of the banks that failed in the
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Oil crash ripples through Texas economy
Office vacancy rates bloomed in Texa
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Oil prices spike in 2008
Oil rose to $145 per barrel as OPEC cut production and restrict
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Today: Oil tumbles and massive job cuts follow
Crude prices dropped to nearly $30 per bar