The five biggest layoffs in the oilpatch in 2015—so far

Job cuts continue to sweep the oilpatch as uncertainty reigns on the global energy markets

 
An oil derrick belonging to Husky Energy, silhouetted against looming clouds
Outlook cloudy: oil companies are making rafts of job cuts as uncertainty continues to roil the energy market. (Larry MacDougal/CP)

Falling oil prices have led to massive layoffs and revenue losses in the Canadian energy industry. Here’s a look at five companies that saw the most layoffs this year, their financial standing and plans going forward.


Trican Well Services

Layoffs: 2,000 (May 13 2015); 600 (February 2015)
Total employees: 5,829 (2013)
Market cap: $686.4 million
First quarter net profit: -$35.7 million (2015); -$8.5 million (2014)

The oilfield services company announced this week that it would cut 2,000 employees from its North American work force, and will stop paying dividends to shareholders, citing difficult market conditions. The company downsized its U.S. pressure pumping operations substantially in response to reduced demand, and is currently in negotiations to sell its Russian and Kazakhstan pressure pumping businesses.


Suncor Energy

Layoffs: 200 (May 2015); 1,000 (January 2015)
Total employees: 13,026
Market cap: $52.7 billion
First quarter report: -$341.0 million (2015); $1,485.0 million (2014)

Despite the layoffs and poor performance in its first quarter, Suncor, Canada’s largest oil sands producer, continues pumping out crude, outputting 602,400 barrels per day during the first quarter—up 10% from the same period last year. Earlier, it lowered its 2014 capital budget by $1 billion and delayed projects because of the falling oil prices.


Husky Energy

Layoffs: 1,000 (March 2015)
Total employees: 5,700 (2014)
Market cap: $24.5 billion
First quarter report: $191.0 million (2015); $662.0 million (2014)

Back in March, 1,000 construction workers employed on contract to work on the $3.2 billion Sunrise oil sands project were laid off. The Sunrise Energy Project was conceived to help expand Husky’s operations in the oil sands. The company said in May that the production at Sunrise is on track to add about 60,000 barrels a day of net new production by the end of next year.


Precision Drilling

Layoffs: 1,000 (February 2015)
Total employees: 9,365 (2008)
Market cap: $2.3 billion
First quarter report: $24.0 million (2015); $101.5 million (2014)

Canada’s largest drilling company is losing crewmembers working at its rigs. The total number of drilling rigs, reported in December last year, went down to 313 from 327 a year earlier. Precision says it will postpone building two new rigs planned for this year, and cut down this year’s capital budget to $467 million, a 46% decrease from a year earlier.


Cenovus Energy

Layoffs: 800 (February 2015)
Total employees: ~4,500 (2015)
Market cap: $17.0 billion
First quarter report: -$668.0 million (2015); $247.0 million (2014)

Cenovus’ first quarter saw an increase in its oil sands production to 144,000 barrels per day, up 20% from the same period in 2014, and lowered operating costs across its assets. The company said in February that it will reduce its capital spending in the current oil environment and focus on expansion projects at Foster Creek and Christina Lake operations that’s already underway.

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