Frank’s International confirmed Tuesday it has started laying off 150 of its employees in Acadiana, part of the company’s global effort to trim its workforce by 400 to 600 workers.
At the company’s Lafayette complex near the intersection of Verot School Road and U.S. 90, where many of the affected employees worked, off-duty Lafayette Parish sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday provided security, a sheriff’s captain said.
Frank’s announced March 31 it would pare its employee numbers, a business decision that came after worldwide demand for its oil field tubular services and rentals fell.
“While workforce reductions are difficult, we are committed to making necessary changes to ensure that Frank’s International remains strong and is well-positioned for the eventual recovery of commodity prices,” company spokesman Josh Grodin said in an email.
Frank’s joined other oil field services companies that have laid off employees, a reaction to slackened demand after the price of oil started collapsing last summer, falling from over $100 per barrel in June to the mid-$40s in January. Though the price for crude has since rebounded somewhat, activity for the service companies continues to be low.
On Tuesday the price for U.S.-produced West Texas Intermediate was about $57.
“Frank’s International remains focused on both costs savings and opportunities, as well as process and operational improvements,” Grodin said. He added that Frank’s remains “steadfast in our commitment to safely provide our customers with the equipment and services required to allow them to access their most challenging oil and gas reserves.”
The layoffs come in the wake of Frank’s purchase of Timco Services Inc., a Lafayette-based competitor of Frank’s.
According to Frank’s International filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company agreed to pay $75 million in cash for Timco, with up to $20 million to be paid later in two installments. Frank’s also was to provide the owner of Timco with $8 million for taxes related to the sale.
Frank’s purchase of Timco has been finalized, Grodin said.
Grodin, however, said he could not accurately say now how many employees Frank’s will have after the layoffs. He also did not say how many, if any, of those employees laid off came over in the Timco acquisition.
At Frank’s main Lafayette complex, off-duty Lafayette Parish sheriff’s deputies stood guard Tuesday, Capt. John Babin said. Babin said Frank’s officials on Friday asked for added security at the Verot School Road facilities.
Grodin, the Houston-based spokesman, would not say if the request for added security was a response to a specific threat or a precautionary measure.
Frank’s was started in 1938 by Frank Mosing. The company had a Mosing at the helm for its entire history until earlier this year, when former Chevron executive Gary Luquette was tapped to be president and chief executive.