BP confirms layoffs at Houston office

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Thursday, January 29, 2015
BP confirms layoffs at Houston office
The company would not tell us how many jobs have been cut, but officials say notifications went out this week

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- BP is confirming that slumping oil processes have led to layoffs at its Houston office.

The company would not tell us how many jobs have been cut, but officials say notifications went out this week.

Wednesday's announcement from BP wasn't totally unexpected. Experts say it certainly won't be the last layoff announcement in an industry that's reeling. This bust is inching closer and closer to home for thousands of Houstonians.

"It was always a big goal of mine to get into oil and gas," says Andre Kohn. "I never thought it would come to this where we're having layoffs. There are so many good people trying to figure out what's going to happen next."

Halliburton, Baker-Hughes, Schlumberger, and now BP are all slashing jobs. Andre Kohn is a logistics manager for one of the companies making cuts. He calls it the best in the world.

"There's been a decrease in jobs both domestically and internationally. While experts are optimistic of the rest of the year, the company is looking at right now as the now," Kohn tells Eyewitness News.

For a lot of us, now means sub-$2 gas and a smile when we fill up. For oil and gas workers, now means uncertainty.

Industry expert Bob Cavnar with Enegex LLC says these cuts are hitting just about every area of the companies.

"They'll try to keep key executive team members in terms of knowledge of their fields, knowledge of the company, and executive management to a certain extent. But it's typically middle management and professional levels that hurt," Cavnar said.

He tells us things will likely get worse before they get better.

"Companies always find a way to be more efficient after a downturn like this," Cavnar says. "But there's always a big hiring binge when things get better. So I expect a lot of these jobs will come back once oil starts to recover."

That recovery, he says, could take a year and a half or longer.

As losses pile up at his company, Kohn says he's looking at his glass as half full.

"I'm a firm believer that my God shall supply all my needs. So it's my prayer every single day going in to work because you never when they're going to knock on your door or come into your office. I'm trying to take that mentality and spread it throughout the office," Kohn said.

If you're thinking the bust doesn't affect you because you don't work in oil and gas, Cavnar says think again. The cuts and the uncertainty for those who are still employed means fewer people shopping, going out to eat, buying cars, and it could even cool off the real estate market.

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