Oilfield services firm ProPetro cuts almost 150 workers: sources

FILE PHOTO: A piece of equipment stands in the ProPetro yard before being sent to a fracking site where it will be used to coax oil from underground, in Midland, Texas, U.S., on April 12, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Saphir

(Reuters) – ProPetro Holding Corp (PUMP.N) this month cut about 150 workers, people familiar with the matter said on Monday, the latest sign of growing trouble in the oilfield services sector as U.S. shale producers reduce drilling.

The job cuts reflect slowing shale activity due to weak prices for oil and gas, and producers exhausting their spending budgets for the year, one of the people said.

Midland, Texas-based ProPetro said last week it would cut the number of hydraulic fracturing fleets operated this quarter by as much as 28%, far surpassing analysts’ expectations. The fleets send water, sand and chemicals at high pressures underground to release trapped oil and gas.

The layoffs represent a roughly 9.5% reduction in staff, based on the company’s latest annual filing.

The job cuts came amid a board committee’s fact-finding review of past accounting practices, which has prompted a shake-up of top management and required senior executives to reimburse the company roughly $370,000.

No senior executives were affected by the job cuts, which were unrelated to the accounting probe, the person said.

Halliburton Co (HAL.N) said last week it was cutting about 650 jobs in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and North Dakota as oilfield activity slowed. Most of the affected Halliburton employees were offered a chance to relocate to areas with stronger anticipated activity.

Shares of ProPetro were off 0.8% at $9.35 shortly before the close of trading. The company has lost nearly 25% of its market value so far this year.

Reporting by Liz Hampton; Editing by Richard Chang

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