Hundreds laid off by Halliburton in Duncan

The city of Duncan was dealt a heavy blow this week when Halliburton, the oilfield service giant that was formed 100 years ago in southern Oklahoma before moving to Houston laid off 350 workers.

It was the latest sign of how the oil and gas industry is contracting in what has grown into a brutal downturn. Halliburton’s layoffs were revealed when the company notified the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development.

It followed the layoffs of nearly 800 workers in December 2019 when Halliburton closed a new command center in El Reno that was only a few years old. Some of those workers were transferred to the former Duncan command center but their jobs didn’t last long.

In a statement, Halliburton confirmed that the company is significantly reducing its workforce.

“This was a difficult decision, but is a necessary action as we work to successfully adapt to challenging market conditions,” the company said. “As we make workforce reductions, we are taking numerous other actions to reduce our costs, including reducing the salaries of the Halliburton Executive Committee.”

The layoffs are the latest sign of pain for Halliburton and the oilfield service sector, which is struggling to adapt to oil prices near a 20-year low. A price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia has exacerbated a global oil glut while shutdowns related to the coronavirus pandemic have slashed demand.

At Halliburton’s headquarters in Houston, about 3,500 workers have been ordered to work every other week through May.