Devon Energy sheds more employees
Devon Energy confirmed Tuesday it has again reduced its workforce.
The energy giant based in Oklahoma City did not disclose how many employees were laid off or whether they were given the option to leave, like in a voluntary buyout scenario.
The number of people affected likely is in the dozens, if not more than 100 from several departments in August alone, The Oklahoman has learned through conversations with several current and former employees who asked not to be identified in order to protect their employment.
"Devon is committed to its future success, and in order to meet long-term operational and financial goals, updates to our business model and strategy were made and shared in early August along with our second quarter results," spokeswoman Lisa Adams said. "As a result of these updates and projected future activity levels, we have made the difficult decision to reduce the size of our workforce at this time."
Adams noted that all affected employees will receive separation packages, including severance pay.
The layoffs did not meet the requirements to be publicly reported through the Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification Act, or WARN system, Devon said. A WARN notice is required when large employers close a facility or discontinue an operating unit of more than 50 workers, lay off between 50 and 499 employees if the layoffs constitute one-third of a site's workforce, or if more than 500 are laid off at a single site.
Energy companies throughout the state were already in distress in 2019 amidst plunging oil prices, and the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated those issues as fewer Americans make travel plans.
Gulfport Energy cut 13% of its workforce in November followed by Halliburton Energy closing offices in El Reno and cutting about 800 jobs.
Devon Energy previously announced 200 of its employees were to be laid off in early 2019 as it worked on plans to either sell or spin off its Canadian and north Texas assets.
A freefall in demand caused by the pandemic and a pricing war in March between Saudi Arabia and Russia led to oil briefly sinking into negative value. Data published by U.S. Energy Information showed crude oil production in the U.S. dropped by 2 million barrels per day, the largest single month drop in 40 years.
Bankruptcies over the past few months include Chaparral Energy and Chesapeake Energy. SandRidge Energy, meanwhile, signed a deal to sell its headquarters after cutting its workforce, which was once several hundred employees, to about a dozen.
Chaparral, which cut corporate staff by 37% and field staff by 40% in 2019, sold its headquarters for $11.5 million.