Four years after emerging from bankruptcy, Oklahoma City’s SandRidge Energy has announced plans to cut its remaining Oklahoma City workforce in half as the oil and gas operation struggles financially. The company said it will eliminate 63 jobs from the 120 that exist at the company headquarters.
Notifications were sent to state and federal agencies that deal with unemployment. The last day for the 63 workers, according to SandRidge Energy will be on April 3. After that, the company headquarters building will see a lot of dark offices and empty hallways.
“As a result of the continued challenging commodity price environment, the company has deemed it necessary to reduce its workforce, commensurate with anticipated levels of activity planned for 2020,” stated the company in its announcement.
“While market conditions made this decision necessary, we deeply regret the impact of this action on our employees, their families and our community.”
The newest slashing of jobs comes after SandRidge announced plans in June 2019 to trim its workforce by 10%, leaving companywide employment at about 280.
That was followed by the replacement of CEO Paul McKinney by John P. Suter in December 2019. At the end of December 2019, the company announced actions the company said were “designed to improve shareholder value” including a minimal 2020 capex plan of only $50 million.
The company even welcomed the interest of other companies in making inquiries about acquisitions. The main issue and challenge for the company rested on the fact that nearly 70% of its production is natural gas and NGLs. With the majority of its focus on natural gas, the challenges only grew as the nation’s oil production also led to a massive increase in the natural gas surplus.
The announced layoffs are no surprise since Suter, after his appointment in December stated that he and the company’s board of directors would undertake a comprehensive review of the company with the goal of improving operational efficiencies and cost control. Obviously, the leadership thinks cost control must involve employee layoffs.
It raises the question among many energy industry observers, is the end near for SandRidge Energy?