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Layoffs expected at several Louisiana plants

5 months 3 weeks 5 days ago Wednesday, April 29 2020 Apr 29, 2020 April 29, 2020 8:08 AM April 29, 2020 in News
Source: The Advocate
Generic image of a chemical plant

Several of Louisiana's plants in the oil and gas industry are expecting to lay off a number of workers due to the pandemic.

According to The Advocate at least 600 workers will be laid off or have already received pink slips due the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The most significant layoff is for 350 workers in three pipe fabrication facilities in Port Allen run by Turner Industries, based in Baton Rouge. The company has seen a decline in customer orders since the price of oil collapsed and the economy turned downward from the coronavirus pandemic.

The goal is to avoid the layoffs if the company is able to rustle up enough customer orders before June 26 to keep workers busy. 

“We are continuing to watch for new work in the coming months and will be responding to the economy as it turns around,” said Stephen Toups, president of Turner Industries. “We believe these layoffs are temporary and have every intention to resume normal operations.”

ASRC Energy Services Omega in New Iberia is closing its facility and laying off 180 workers starting in early June through August. 

"We would like to have given more notice of this action, but were unable to do so because of how quickly our operations were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic," the company said in its letter to the state agency. 

Ensco Offshore Co., which recently changed its name to Valaris, is also laying off an undisclosed number of workers at its Broussard office, who are assigned to work offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.

The company has seen customers suspend, defer and terminate drilling contracts due to the economic situation and low oil prices. It expects to begin layoffs on May 30. 

"It is possible, however, that the effective date of termination for some employees may extend beyond then due to the process required to downman the rig," according to the company's letter to the state. 

These layoffs may also be temporary depending on customer demand. 

"Certain employees may be re-employed should the rig secure a new drilling contract or if present contract commitments recommence at a later date, the layoffs are expected at this time to be permanent," the letter continued. The company didn't respond to comment about the layoffs.

In Bossier City, Cactus Wellhead LLC, an oilfield services business, began laying off 42 workers on April 1. The company laid off about 30% of its North American workforce at the same time. 

"In the past few days, it has become clear that our industry is facing a far more abrupt and dramatic decline than reasonably anticipated," according to the company.

Several of its large hydraulic fracturing customers decided to stop drilling, so the company is laying off another 25 employees from machinists to assembly technicians and quality control inspectors.

Halliburton recently decided to also layoff 36 workers in Lafayette. 

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