Fracing slowdown in Permian basin leads to more job losses

By David Wethe and Kevin Crowley on 12/3/2019

HOUSTON (Bloomberg) - The throttling back of fracking in the world’s biggest shale patch is hitting the unemployment line in Texas.

Fracing contractor Superior Energy Services Inc. slashed 112 jobs from its Pumpco unit in the Permian Basin last month, according to an email Monday from the Texas Workforce Commission. The state received notice of the Ector County reductions on Nov. 22, with the firing date set for three days after that, according to the commission.

Employment in the Permian Basin of West Texas has fallen by 400 through the first 10 months of the year, a massive change from the 16,700 jobs added in the same period last year, according to a report last week from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Permian basin frac crews, who are brought in to complete the final stage for creating a new oil well, have dropped 21% so far this year, according Primary Vision Inc. For all of 2018, frackcrews in the West Texas and New Mexico oil fields expanded by 1.3%.

The commission disclosed Monday that another oil services company, National Oilwell Varco Inc., fired 85 employees in Harris County, which includes Houston. Job cuts at Halliburton Co. and RPC Inc. have also been confirmed in recent weeks.

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