Baker Hughes lays off Farmington workers

A company spokeswoman confirmed the layoffs but could not provide the number of employees who were affected

James Fenton
Baker Hughes' pressure pumping services office off Southside River Road in Farmington as seen on Nov. 10.

FARMINGTON — Baker Hughes has laid off an undisclosed number of workers from its Farmington offices this month, citing low oil and gas prices on the commodities market.

Baker Hughes spokeswoman Melanie Kania confirmed the layoffs but could not provide the number of employees who were impacted by the reduction.

Kania said in an email today that the layoffs are due to the oil and gas sector's prolonged "bust" cycle.

"Baker Hughes is simplifying its organizational structure and operational footprint globally, including consolidating facilities and reducing its workforce," Kania said in the email. "Though difficult, these actions will help the company meet the challenges of today’s market conditions while positioning it for growth opportunities in the future."

Baker Hughes operates several offices in Farmington, Kania said. She was unable to say which of the offices were affected by layoffs.

The layoffs came after a May 1 announcement that the company's planned merger with Halliburton had failed.

In the wake of the merger termination, Baker Hughes officials said the company would be focusing on reducing costs and simplifying its business as a result of crude oil prices plummeting at the end of 2014.

As part of the agreement, Halliburton paid Baker Hughes a termination fee of $3.5 billion.

Official said downsizing the company, as well as a focus on the competition and bottom line, would help Baker Hughes continue operations and seek new opportunities when the price of crude oil and natural gas on the commodities market recovers.

In a prepared statement released May 2, Baker Hughes Chairman and CEO Martin Craighead said the company would also focus on product development and efficiencies.

"Innovation is what we do best and what our customers need the most. It is an enviable capability that is part of our culture and continues to differentiate us in the market. Baker Hughes also has an experienced and exceptionally talented team of people, a global footprint and industry-leading products, services and technology expertise," Craighead said. "More than ever, our customers need to lower their costs and maximize production. ... We intend to build on our strong foundation and market position by simplifying the structure of our business and evolving our commercial strategy to deliver significant value to shareholders."

Part of simplifying its organizational structure involved moving from a company of "previous regional operations structure into one global organization," according to a May 25 press release.

Senior management at the company were shaken up to adjust the business' focus from specialized divisions to a broader management structure, the press release states.

In November, Baker Hughes laid off 67 workers from its pressure pumping offices on Southside River Road.

Located in 80 countries worldwide with about 39,000 employees, Baker Hughes offers oilfield services, products, technology and systems to oil and gas operators.

James Fenton is the business editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4621.