Thousands of jobs could be cut from Tulsa-based oil company

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TULSA, Okla. — Oil drilling rig maker and operator Helmerich & Payne Inc. announced Thursday they will be laying off 2,000 employees.

Company CEO John Lindsay says the cuts, which have already started, are due to “oversupply” and “sluggish demand.”

“This is without question the worst part of the downturn,” Lindsay said.

According to the Tulsa World, “Helmerich & Payne employs about 500 in Tulsa and nearly 12,000 company wide. The overall reduction is about 17 percent of the company’s total workforce.”

The company released a statement that reads, “As relates to the 2,000 or more mentioned positions that could be eliminated, Mr. Lindsay was referring to the company’s field positions directly related with operating the rigs that may no longer be active… These type of positions are not ones associated with our Tulsa presence.”

The company also said it plans to decrease the number of rigs that are built each month from four to two.

But the falling oil prices have led to oil producers cutting budgets and exploration, and it’s hurting more than just Helmerich & Payne Inc.

The Tulsa World noted that, “Oilfield services provider Baker Hughes said earlier this month that it plans to cut 7,000 jobs — or about 11 percent of its workforce.”

“Oil prices at six-year lows are significantly impacting spot pricing and drilling activity in the U.S. and we expect this to unfavorably impact our quarterly results during the rest of fiscal 2015,” Lindsay said in a statement.

The CEO continued, “Nevertheless, we believe we are positioned to successfully navigate through the down-cycle as a result of our strong balance sheet, our term contract coverage, and our modern fleet of AC drive FlexRigs.”

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