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Oklahoma drilling company to cut 2,000 jobs

Oklahoma-based drilling contractor company Helmerich & Payne’s CEO announced Thursday that the company may have to cut as many as 2,000 jobs.

Helmerich & Payne CEO John Lindsay commented:

“Our field employee count is directly proportional to our rig count. Based on what we know today, it is possible that we will have approximately 2,000 or more field positions eliminated by the foreseeable rig reductions. This is, without question, the worst part of the downturn.”

Helmerich shares fell as much as 10 percent to $54 on Thursday as weak forecast for 2015 margins and revenue overshadowed a better-than-expected quarterly profit. Helmerich said less than 200 rigs would be active by the end of the current quarter, down from over 297 in the first quarter. The company said that it expects rig revenue in its U.S. land drilling unit to average $27,000-$27,500 per day in the second quarter, below the $29,457 it recorded in the first quarter. Helmerich, which had about 11,901 employees as of September 30, also said it would now build only two high-tech FlexRigs per month this year, down from the four rigs it had planned.

Related: Hamm: “Oil prices could rebound faster than expected”

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