Image courtesy of National Oilwell Varco.

National Oilwell Varco said on Wednesday that it expects to undertake a round of mass layoffs as low oil prices continue to hamper demand for services.

A spokesperson for the company’s Norwegian unit told the Wall Street Journal that the firm has started negotiations with employees and will likely have details about the size of the cuts in a few weeks.

“We are signaling mass layoffs,” the spokesperson said.

Details about the operations and locations that would be affected by the cuts have not been disclosed yet.

Slowing upstream activity in the North Sea prompted the company to lay off about 1,800 employees and about 600 contractors over the last year, the Wall Street Journal said.

NOV chief Clay Williams said during the company’s fourth quarter conference call that NOV’s global workforce, including contract labor, declined 21 percent in 2015.

“Restructuring will continue through the first half of 2016 and perhaps longer in view of the challenging market,” Williams said.

The Houston-based company has also closed 75 facilities since the middle of 2014.

Williams added that NOV is “not planning for a recovery in 2016.”

The company reported a fourth quarter net income of $85 million, or $0.23 per fully-diluted share, excluding other items, down from $0.61 per fully diluted share in the third quarter of 2015 on a comparable basis.

Fourth quarter 2015 revenues fell 52 percent year-over-year to $2.7 billion on an operating profit of $141 million, or 5.2 percent of sales.

Full year 2015 revenues were $14.76 billion on a net loss of$769 million, or $1.99 per fully diluted share.


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