Another oil company plans to fire workers after crude oil's plunge

Swiss- based oilfield service company Weatherford International will cut 5,000 positions by the end of the first quarter, after the plunge in crude oil prices. -- PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
Swiss- based oilfield service company Weatherford International will cut 5,000 positions by the end of the first quarter, after the plunge in crude oil prices. -- PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SYDNEY (Bloomberg) - Weatherford International Plc, the Swiss- based oilfield service company, will cut 5,000 positions by the end of the first quarter, after the plunge in crude oil prices.

The cuts - most of which will take place at its operations in the Western Hemisphere - will save more than US$350 million on an annualized basis, the company said in a statement.

"Due to the quickly changing market conditions, we are aligning and reducing our cost as well as organizational structures to match the new environment," Weatherford said in the statement.

Oil companies have slashed spending and planned layoffs in the past quarter after crude plunged more than 50 per cent since June as U.S. production surged and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries resisted output cuts.

Last month, oil services company Schlumberger, said it would fire 9,000 workers, or 8 per cent of its total workforce. Baker Hughes said it will lay off 7,000 workers to cut costs while Halliburton suggested that it would also slash its payroll without giving any specifics.