Hydraulic fracturing company plans 273 Louisiana layoffs


A hydraulic fracturing company that has filed for bankruptcy plans to lay off 273 Louisiana workers.

BJ Services has notified the Louisiana Department of Labor of the impending layoffs in Shreveport, planned for Aug. 2. Employers are required to provide advance notice of plant closures or mass layoffs.

The Texas-based company provides hydraulic fracturing and cementing services to upstream oil and gas companies and has operations in every major basin throughout the U.S. and Canada. The company filed the WARN notice with the Louisiana Workforce Commission and filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankrupcty last week.

According to a statement released by the company, it is engaged active discussions with bidders regarding both the cementing business and portions of the fracturing business. The statement said the company believes the sales would reduce the number of jobs impacted by this process.

“The industry continues to face unprecedented uncertainty caused by volatile commodity markets and significantly reduced demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said President and CEO Warren Zemlak. “Despite maintaining a leading market position and strong client support, the severe downturn in activity and subsequent lack of liquidity resulted in an unmanageable capital structure. After exhausting every possible alternative to address these issues and improve our liquidity, we have made the very difficult decision to proceed with a Chapter 11 process.”

According to the Associated Press, more than 200 oil producers have filed for bankruptcy protection in the past five years, a trend that’s expected to continue as a global pandemic reduces demand for energy and further depresses prices.