Halliburton slashes 1,000 jobs in eastern hemisphere

[NEW YORK] Halliburton, the world's second biggest oil services company, said on Thursday it is slashing 1,000 jobs in its eastern hemisphere offices amid tumbling global oil prices.

The layoffs, which are effective immediately, represent 1.25 per cent of Halliburton's 80,000-person workforce.

The layoffs will take place in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Australia, but jobs in the Americas will not be affected.

The company said the decision was not an easy one, but necessary amid tumbling oil prices.

"The decision to eliminate jobs is never easy. Our talented workforce is the foundation of everything we accomplish," spokesman Chevalier Mayes told AFP.

"Yet, we believe these job eliminations are necessary in order to work through this market environment." At a conference Wednesday, Halliburton's chief financial officer Mark McCollum said the company expected a restructuring charge in its fourth quarter in relation to the job cuts.

"We are right now anticipating a restructuring charge in the quarter, probably to the tune of about US$75 million, as we trim out some headcount and activities around the world," McCollum told investors.

Oil prices have dropped 44 per cent since June, forcing companies to scale back exploration activities, which has reverberated with contractors such as Halliburton.

The oil services company is in the midst of finalizing the acquisition of Baker Hughes, which agreed to be bought by Halliburton in November in a US$34.6 billion deal.

Halliburton said news of the layoffs was not related to the acquisition.

"No layoffs have occurred or are presently planned as a result of the pending Baker Hughes acquisition," Mr Mayes said.

Analysts say the deal could pave the way for more takeovers in the industry as falling oil prices put pressure on exploration companies to cut spending.


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