National Oilwell Varco cuts 6,000 jobs, closes 200 facilities

HOUSTON – Drilling-rig maker National Oilwell Varco cut nearly 6,000 jobs in the first quarter and plans to close a total of 200 facilities as it copes with a punishing oil bust and a glut of offshore rigs.

In an interview Thursday, Chief Executive Clay Williams didn’t say whether the Houston company is planning to cut more jobs beyond the 6,000 this year, but he said the company is “continuing to adjust our cost.”

“It’s challenged. But there have been 400 discoveries made offshore awaiting development,” Williams said. “There’s a lot of very smart people trying to make it more efficient. I can’t tell you when the recovery is going to come, but it’s out there.”

National Oilwell Varco’s layoff announcement comes on the heels of deep job cuts by service companies Schlumberger, Halliburton and Baker Hughes. Those three shed a combined 18,000 workers in the first quarter.

NOV posted a $21 million loss in the first quarter, with revenues sinking 55 percent compared to the same three months a year ago.