Oil-field services providers that help drill wells have quietly revealed job cuts that were deeper than initially announced, and warned of more layoffs to come. Halliburton Co. and Baker Hughes Inc., two big service companies that plan to merge, disclosed last week that they had cut 27,000 jobs between them, double the 13,500 they announced in February. Nearly 50,000 energy jobs have been lost in the past three months on top of 100,000 employees laid off since oil prices started to tumble last fall, according to Graves & Co., a Houston energy consultancy. Initial rounds of layoffs this year tended to be blue-collar jobs, such as roughnecks on drilling sites, fracking crews and workers at industrial-equipment manufacturers. Now the job cuts are starting to extend to engineers and scientists.
Crude oil rose 1.11 per cent to Rs 2,543 per barrel in futures market on Thursday as speculators engaged in creating speculative positions, taking positive cues from Asian markets.
At Multi Commodity Exchange of India, crude oil for delivery in April month contract was trading higher by Rs 18, or 1.11 per cent, to Rs 2,543 per barrel, in a business turnover of 12,701 lots.
Likewise, the oil for delivery in far-month May gained Rs 27 or 1.03 per cent, to Rs 2,638 per barrel in 632 lots.
Analysts said speculative positions created by traders after crude prices extended gains in Asia following a sizeable drop in US stockpiles, the first decline in seven weeks, indicating stronger demand in the world’s top oil consumer.
Official data showed US commercial crude inventories fell 4.9 million barrels in the week ending April 1, after rising by 2.3 million barrels the week before.
The figures helped crude build on already healthy gains that came on the back of comments from Kuwait that this month’s crucial producers’ meeting could see an agreement to limit output.
Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate for May delivery gained 39 cents or 1.03 per cent to $38.11 while global benchmark Brent for June advanced 29 cents, or 0.73 per cent, to $40.13 a barrel.
Prices closed more than five per cent higher on Wednesday.