Ovintiv cuts jobs across North America as oil drilling slows

By Kevin Orland on 6/17/2020

CALGARY (Bloomberg) - Ovintiv Inc., the oil and gas producer that moved its headquarters out of Canada earlier this year, is laying off staff across North America as it reduces drilling activity.

The layoffs are coming roughly equally from the company’s offices in Calgary, Denver and The Woodlands, Texas, as well as from field staff, said Cindy Hassler, a spokeswoman for Ovintiv. Hassler declined to immediately provide a number of how many jobs were cut.

Oil producers around North America have shut in production and cut spending as the Covid-19 pandemic hammers oil demand and prices. Ovintiv cut its capital spending by $300 million in the second quarter and reduced the number of rigs it has in the field from 23 to seven.

“It is deeply unfortunate, but we had to right-size the organization to align with expected future activity levels,” Hassler said in an interview.

Ovintiv earlier this year changed its name from Encana and moved its headquarters to Denver from Calgary, dealing a morale blow to the Canadian energy industry. Chief Executive Officer Doug Suttles said the move was meant to allow the company to access a broader pool of investors in U.S. markets.

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