Technip to lay off 6,000 workers

HOUSTON – Oil equipment builder Technip says it plans to cut about 6,000 jobs, roughly 16 percent of its workforce, as it restructures its business to cope with the oil industry downturn.

The Paris-based firm, which has its main U.S. offices in Houston, said Monday the move will save it $919 million over the next two and a half years, with the bulk of those savings coming in 2016. It said it will make the cuts “in anticipation of an even more challenging environment in oil and gas.”

Brent, the international crude benchmark, fell $4.55 to $57.52 a barrel on Monday on the ICE Futures Europe. U.S. crude sank $3.51 to $53.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The 13-month oil slump has prompted international oil producers to delay or cancel drilling projects and hit companies like Technip directly as orders for equipment fell earlier in the year.

Technip said it probably won’t have to reduce its footprint in more profitable areas in Europe, Asia and Latin America. But it said it will likely reduce its fleet of subsea vessels by four this year, meaning its fleet will shrink to 23 down from 36 at the end of 2013.

It said it will put more money behind key geographic regions and technologies that it has a larger footprint in, such as floating liquefied natural gas facilities.

“The slowdown in the oil and gas industry is prolonged and harsh,” Technip CEO Thierry Pilenko said in a written statement, adding that has led the firm to accelerate its cost reductions and efficiency improvements, “which will have tough consequences for employees across the group.”

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