By David Conti
Chevron Corp.’s decision to cut 162 jobs from its Appalachian natural gas exploration unit in Moon represents the first major layoffs to hit Marcellus shale operations since prices began falling last year.
The layoffs will affect up to 23 percent of the 700 people working for the company in Pennsylvania, where it expects to curtail drilling activity. The layoffs include office and field workers and happen as several major gas producers downsized capital spending plans in the Marcellus and Utica shales because of a 35 percent drop in prices since November.
Chevron spokesman Trip Oliver said Thursday that the cuts are part of restructuring begun in November to become more “efficient.”
“As a part of this restructuring, Chevron is taking steps to streamline its organization and ensure our workforce is the right size for expected activity levels in this region, which are lower than originally anticipated,” he wrote in an email.
The final number of employees who lose their jobs could be smaller if they can find work elsewhere within Chevron, he said.
A security guard at the company’s Moon office said operations were closed Thursday and no employees were there, but it would reopen Friday.
Low oil and gas prices continue to drive cutbacks, and Chevron is hit by both, said Brad Heffern, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets in Houston who covers the company.Read full article