Oilfield services company to close

Schlumberger leaving its GJ lot

Oilfield service company Schlumberger is closing its local office, two employees confirmed as they were leaving the lot Friday.

The employees, who declined to give their names, said the closure could take as long as six months and that local employees will be transferred to other Schlumberger offices.

The employees said they and co-workers they had talked to were choosing to remain upbeat because closures and transfers are part of the business. Work had been slow at the 783 22 Road office, and they had noticed other local companies in the industry were shutting their doors or scaling back work.

The employees were sad to leave Grand Junction but were looking forward to the next venture, they said.

Schlumberger has been scaling back local completion activity since 2009. And even as oil and gas companies make adjustments in global strategies that have impacts locally, there are still more than 10,000 active producing wells in Garfield County alone. The region counts one of the largest gas plants in the Rockies region, and sizable pipeline capacity still exists in the area.

Speaking broadly about the local oil and gas industry, David Ludlam, the executive director of the Western Slope chapter of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, projected a positive outlook in light of the Schlumberger news to gradually shut local operations.

“Grand Junction, from our perspective — despite short-term challenges and despite service companies leaving the valley — is going to continue to be the oil and gas service hub for the Piceance Basin now and in the future,” Ludlam said. “When you look at what Encana and WPX are doing relative to the Mancos shale, we have more gas here now that we couldn’t even fathom five years ago. That gas is just waiting for a market.”

“We think that the short-term challenges like this — with completion companies going elsewhere — are going to be vastly offset by the long-term potential that our basin has,” Ludlam said.

Schlumberger, he noted, is not a member of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association.

The last time Schlumberger made major adjustments to their local operations was in 2012, when the company transferred dozens of its Grand Junction employees to productive wells in North Dakota. Close to 70 workers were transferred then, leaving about 60 employees in the local office at that time, it was reported.

Ludlam said he thought that when the price of natural gas again rises to previous profitable levels, service companies would be back in the local fold.

“As service companies come and go, we are going to continue to fight to make sure that this is an environment where businesses can produce energy cost-effectively,” Ludlam said.


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