Oil & gas company BJ Services to lay off 273 in Shreveport following bankruptcy filing


SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Another Northwest Louisiana employer in the oil and gas industry has filed for bankruptcy and announced layoffs.

According to the latest Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice updated by the Louisiana Workforce Commission, BJ Services plans to lay off 273 employees in Shreveport on August 2.

Under federal law, 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 LWC on Sunday and filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankrupcty on Monday.

According to a statement released by the company, the plan is to sell its assets and is in 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. 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,” said Warren Zemlak, President and Chief Executive Officer of BJ Services. “Our Board of Directors and the entire management team worked diligently over the course of the past several weeks to avoid this outcome. Having said that, we are pleased to be in discussions with interested bidders for our cementing business and for certain portions of our fracturing business and technology.”

Court filings and other information related to the cases are available at a website administered by the Company’s claims agent, Donlin, Recano & Company, at www.donlinrecano.com/bjs.

Chesapeake Energy filed for bankruptcy protection on June 28, citing excessive debt.

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 saps demand for energy and depresses prices further.

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