Perpetual Energy cuts 25% of workforce to deal with lower commodity prices

Image: Joey Podlubny/JWN

Calgary-based oil and gas producer Perpetual Energy Inc. says it has cut 25 per cent of its workforce in an effort to rein in costs in response to lower commodity prices.

The gas-weighted Calgary company says it is also cutting compensation for its remaining employees and has lowered its 2019 cash flow expectations. It didn't say how many jobs were lost.

The job cuts come three weeks after much larger Calgary rival Husky Energy Inc. announced it had laid off an undisclosed number of staff to align its workforce with its reduced capital spending and growth strategy.

In a filing last year, Perpetual reported it had 54 full-time employees and eight consultants at its head office, as well as 15 employees and eight consultants in the field — a 25 per cent layoff would equate to about 21 jobs.

The job cuts are reminiscent of a series of layoffs by Calgary oil and gas producers following an oil price crash in late 2014 that contributed to an estimated 110,000 direct and indirect jobs in Canada being lost through 2015 and 2016.

Perpetual reported a net loss of $20 million for the third quarter, down from a loss of $12 million in the same period of 2018. Its production fell 12 per cent to just under 8,400 boe/d, with about 75 per cent in the form of natural gas.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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