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Oil Industry Giants Report Losses, Layoffs And Lower Profits

Low prices keep leading to more more bad news for the oil sector.

Anadarko Petroleum, based in The Woodlands, reports a $1.25 billion fourth-quarter loss.

This comes as Irving, TX-based Exxon-Mobil reports a 58 percent fall in its fourth-quarter profit, although it still made billions.

And BP reports it lost $2.72 billion in the fourth quarter, and is planning spending cuts and more layoffs.

Barbara Shook, with Energy Intelligence in Houston, says the financial reports look very familiar to her.

“I have gone back and re-read articles that I wrote in the mid-1980’s,” she said. “And I could just substitute the names of the particular people involved, but the text of the article would be virtually the same as what I could be writing today.”

To ride out the tough times, Shook says there are some adjustments that companies have made, or will have to make.

“More layoffs. Reduced spending. Companies that still have corporate jets are going to be rethinking that kind of a perk for their executives, or reducing the number of executives who are eligible,” she said. “Employee benefits, employees paying more of their insurance. No more stock buybacks. The employees who still have jobs are not going to be getting raises.”

Shook says companies that are diversified, such as those with petrochemical or refining divisions, are faring better than their competitors.

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