ConocoPhillips warns of layoffs in September

No word if job cuts suggested by ConocoPhillips might reach its Bartlesville operations, but the Houston-based company said it’s preparing for “modest” numbers of layoffs during September in a move to cut costs.

The company recently posted a $1.6 billion net profit in the second quarter but it also has trimmed its workforce in recent years by thousands.  The warned layoffs are coming as ConocoPhillips focuses more on the Permian Basin in West Texas, the Eagle Ford shale in South Texas and Alaska.

The oil and gas corporation has opted to focus lately on debt reduction, share buybacks and increased dividend payouts in order to appease investors and solidify a healthy bottom line.

The company began asking some employees this past week for volunteers to accept severance buyouts.

Employees have been informed that modest workforce reductions will occur in mid-September,” a corporate spokeswoman said Friday. “We anticipate this will primarily impact Houston and Lower 48 employees. I do not have a specific number, as we are currently working through the staffing process.”

She added that ConocoPhillips has been transparent with employees that  modest workforce reductions in certain areas of the business may be necessary from time-to-time in order to operate more efficiently.

ConocoPhillips has shrunk from a global workforce of 19,000 people four years ago to just more than 11,000 employees now. A few thousand jobs were eliminated during the recent oil bust, but many others transferred to other companies through asset sales.

ConocoPhillips employs just more than 2,200 people in the Houston area, which is down from about 3,600 workers in 2014.


Bartlesville was the historical birthplace of Phillips Petroleum Co. nearly 100 years ago. The merger of Phillips and Conoco in 2002 moved the headquarters to Houston, although support and shared services stayed in Bartlesville.