Energy & Environment

Halliburton To Furlough 3,500 Houston Workers As Oil Prices Sink

The Houston-based company says affected employees will work one week on, followed by one week off. The company says employees will maintain their benefits throughout the period but will not be paid during their off weeks.

Lucio Vasquez/Houston Public Media
Halliburton facility, located on Heathrow Forest Parkway. The company announced it would furlough 3,500 local employees.

Halliburton will institute a mandatory furlough for 3,500 employees in Houston beginning next week amid falling oil prices.

The furlough will begin Monday and will last up to 60 days, company spokeswoman Emily Mir said Wednesday.

Crude oil prices have plunged 45% so far in March and are at the lowest level since 2002. The energy market has been slammed by a slump in demand because of the virus pandemic and a price war between some of the world's largest producers.

Experts say if Texas oil doesn’t go above at least $30 a barrel soon there will be more changes, including layoffs.

Halliburton, which is one of the world's largest providers of oilfield services, has plummeted more than 65% in March alone. Shares of larger oilfield services company Schlumberger have dropped 51% this month.

During the furlough, affected employees will work one week on followed by one week off, the Houston-based company said. Employees will maintain their benefits, including health insurance, during the week off but will not be paid.

Additional reporting by Kyra Buckley.

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