Halliburton to cut 5,000 to 6,500 jobs

HOUSTON – Oil field services company Halliburton Co. said Tuesday it’s planning to ax 5,000 to 6,500 jobs to cope with the crude-price collapse, the latest in a string of oil-field layoff announcements.

The cuts amount to 6.5 percent to 8 percent of its global workforce of 80,000 employees. Halliburton’s move brings the number of layoffs announced by the world’s four biggest oil field services in recent weeks to more than 30,000 workers around the world. That’s about 9.4 percent of their combined workforce.

“We value every employee we have, but unfortunately we are faced with the difficult reality that reductions are necessary to work through the challenging market environment,” Halliburton spokeswoman Emily Mir said in an emailed statement.

The reductions will affect “all areas of Halliburton’s operations,” she said. Houston-based Halliburton is the biggest hydraulic fracturing company in the United States, and the second-biggest oil-tool provider in the world after Schlumberger.

Mir said none of the layoffs stem from the firm’s $34.6 billion proposed acquisition of smaller rival Baker Hughes,  although the companies have said they expect “synergies” in the merger that most analysts believe will include job cuts.

Baker Hughes has said it will cut 7,000 jobs worldwide because of fallen prices.

Halliburton’s layoffs include the 1,000 jobs it said in December that it would cut across multiple regions in the eastern hemisphere.

Antitrust review

Halliburton and Baker Hughes also said Tuesday they have both received so-called second requests from the Department of Justice about the pending merger, which was announced in November.

These requests are “a standard part of the regulatory review process by the DOJ and were expected,” the companies said.

The two firms have some 15,000 employees in Houston.