Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) has indicated that it is laying off over 800 workers in El Reno, Oklahoma. The company has stated that it expects to close the El Reno Office. 

Halliburton closes Oklahoma Office

This move is a sign that things have the oil and natural gas industry is slowing. Halliburton Energy is among the large operators in the Anadarko Basin, and the office it closed was the headquarters of its Remote Operations Command Centre. It used the office to monitor well completion operations in several shale plays in the region around Oklahoma, including parts of Kansa, Texas, and Colorado.

Although the decision to close operations in the area is unwelcome because of the job, local officials were already informed. David Crow, the spokesperson of the Office of Workforce Development in Oklahoma, indicated that the company notified the agency before the closure of the office.

Crow indicated that according to a letter from the company, the mass layoff of the employees would be permanent. He added that the letter indicates that at the time, the facility will remain closed. Further, Crow stated that the letter given to the agency on Monday by the Houston based company was the first they had heard about the closure of the office and pending layoffs.

Oil and natural gas industry slowing

According to Halliburton’s filing out of the 800 employees laid off, almost a third worked in the hydraulic fracturing process with a tenth doing the cementing of oil wells. The move to lays off the workers comes when the oil and natural gas industry is slowing. The $50 per barrel crude oil prices has contributed to a shale slump with minimal drilling activity experienced across the US and Canada.

Matt White, the Mayor of El Reno, indicated that he and other leaders expected that the city’s workers might feel the effect of the slowdown in the oil and gas industry. He added because of the expectation, the city’s council and staff have already developed and passed a conservative budget for the fiscal year.