What Looms Ahead for Oil and Gas Companies

No telling what fourth quarter earnings will be like for some of the oil and gas firms in Oklahoma when they issue reports in the coming days. But here’s an indication why Devon Energy is making layoffs and other companies are retrenching their production and exploration.

Royal Dutch Shell says it expects its fourth quarter profits to drop at least 40 percent to between $1.6 billion and $1.9 billion after the sharp drop in crude oil prices. News of the expected drop in profits hit the markets hard on Wednesday as stock prices dropped more than 5 percent.

Shell is selling assets on the heels of its decision in 2015 to abandon exploration in the foreseeable future in Alaska.

Despite its move to divest holdings, Shell executives say they are determined to move ahead with the propsoed mega-merger with BG Group. They also say the streamlining from the merger would include the loss of 10,000 workers aond contractor positions.

Then there is Houston-based Southwestern Energy, described as the third-largest natural gas producer in the U.S. It has notified employees of its 2016 workforce reduction plan which affects about 1,100 employees or 45 percent of the company’s workforce. There will be layoffs or reduced roles. Southwestern already let go 102 workers in August of 2015.



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