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Hercules Offshore Announces Third Round Of Layoffs

The cuts come as the Houston-based drilling services firm reveals fourth-quarter losses of more than $150 million.

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Houston-based Hercules Offshore has announced its third round of layoffs since October. The latest job cuts bring the total to 672. That’s close to a third of where the company’s workforce stood before the layoffs began.

The drilling services firm, which works primarily in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico, has taken a series of blows from the drop in oil prices, according to executive vice president Jim Noe. “With the collapse in oil prices,” Noe says, “we saw customers just cut programs, delay decisions on additional drilling activity, and then finally start to cut their costs. And that’s had a very negative impact on the activity level, and we’ve had to respond with these gut-wrenching layoffs.”

The firm announced the layoffs in the wake of $154.1 million in losses for the fourth quarter of 2014.

“We’re consolidating offices. We’re stopping the employee 401(k) match. We’re asking some employees to take demotions and reduce their pay. We’re doing all the things that you have to do in a downturn to survive,” Noe says. He expects that downturn to last at least through the rest of the year and possibly well into next year.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

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