State Loses over 1,800 Energy Jobs

Article excerpt

More than 1,800 jobs in the energy industry have been eliminated in Oklahoma since January as a result of companies trying to reduce overhead and remain competitive.

Of those, 1,265 jobs will be cut in the petroleum industry in Tulsa alone.

Low oil prices have hurt earnings and have forced companies to take cost-cutting measures, according to officials.

Light sweet crude oil for September delivery has fallen to its lowest level in more than three months on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Price for the oil fell to $17.58 per barrel Friday.

In August, Texaco Inc., Kerr-McGee Corp. and Conoco Inc. have announced cuts in their Oklahoma workforce.

New-York based Texaco announced Wednesday it would cut 415 jobs in Tulsa, including all 120 in the Information Technology division and 130 of the 150 jobs in the Comptroller's Department. The layoffs, which cut Texaco's Tulsa workforce by about two-thirds, are part of a plan to consolidate and cut overhead, company officials say.

Texaco is eliminating 110 jobs in its natural gas plant and liquids division, although 50 of those employees will be offered jobs at other Texaco locations. It also will eliminate 40 positions at Texaco Refining and Marketing Inc. and 15 jobs in corporate services.

The company announced earlier this month it plans to sell its downtown office building.

The move is part of a previously announced plan by Texaco to cut half of its domestic oil and natural gas fields and $300 million in costs by eliminating 2,500 jobs around the world over the next year.

Earlier this week, 250 employees at Kerr-McGee's headquarters in Oklahoma City found out their jobs were being eliminated as part of an organizational restructuring plan.

The "highly competitive global business environment and low prices in energy and chemical industries" required the company to change the way it manages and operates its business, Kerr-McGee officials said Monday.

The layoffs will reduce the Oklahoma City workforce by 20 percent, leaving 1,000 employees. As of December 1993, the company had 5,812 employees worldwide.

According to Kerr-McGee officials, the restructuring is estimated to reduce general and administrative expenses by about $25 million per year when fully implemented. …

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