Weatherford International begins layoffs

A division of Weatherford International, an oil-field services company based in Houston, has begun laying off employees in Grand Junction, according to a former employee.

The company has several locations in Grand Junction and one in Rifle. The company provides assistance in a variety of ways to energy companies, from drilling to production.

Company officials Thursday refused to comment on the exact number of employees laid off, nor would they comment on what future plans the company has for layoffs.

An employee laid off Thursday, who refused to give his name, said the company laid off at least a half-dozen of his co-workers, including himself. Workers at a local Weatherford office, at 1101 Winters Ave., said it was just a matter of time before they, too, would be laid off. They refused to identify themselves, saying they wanted to keep their jobs until they were laid off.

Conversely, an employee at Weatherford TRS, 2010 U.S. Highway 6&50 in Fruita, said that division was not affected by the layoffs.

According to the company’s Web site, second-quarter earnings this year decreased 11 percent from earnings for the same period last year. In addition, the company’s Web site reports a 35 percent rig drop worldwide.

“North America was responsible for the decline with revenues decreasing 44 percent against a 50 percent decline in rig count,” according to the company’s second-quarter report.

“International revenues were up 17 percent against a 9 percent decrease in international rig count.”

The report says revenues for the second quarter of 2009 were $571 million, a 44 percent decrease over the same quarter in the prior year.

The company said aggressive cost-cutting measures failed to fully “offset the impact of price deterioration and lower activity levels.”

While the company moves to trim its work force, it still advertises to prospective employees, touting the benefits of a career with Weatherford.

Weatherford has operations in more than 100 countries and employs more than 50,000 people worldwide, according to its Web site.

Company officials did not immediately return calls Thursday for comment about the Grand Junction layoffs.


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