CALGARY, Alberta Feb 23 Most oil and gas firms
in Canada's oil-rich Alberta, which cut costs following the
crude crash in 2014, are looking to run even leaner, according
to the author of a report from professional services firm EY
released on Thursday.
The report was based on a survey of a representative sample
of 72 oil and gas companies, which found that 70 percent of
respondents intend to make changes to be more efficient,
measures which may include reorganization or cutting staff, said
its author Lance Mortlock.
"I think every organization in this sector in Canada is
thinking, 'How do we run leaner?'" he said in an interview.
The western province of Alberta is home to Canada's vast oil
sands deposits and is the top exporter of crude to the United
States. It was hard hit by the collapse in global crude prices
since mid-2014, as producers laid off tens of thousands of oil
and gas workers and cut billions in capital spending.
Mortlock, EY's Canadian strategy services leader for oil and
gas, declined to name the companies surveyed, but said they come
from all areas of the industry and most are publicly listed.
The report, compiled in partnership with the Alberta's
University of Calgary, found that 80 percent of companies
surveyed have reduced their staff over the last two years.
"We're seeing, in the case of oilfield service companies,
sometimes more than a 50 percent reduction in headcount,"
Many respondents that cut staff reacted to low commodity
prices with a focus on short-term survival, which is not
surprising given the intense pressures to manage costs, the
But a majority of those surveyed reported "high levels of
success" with their "reorganizations," according to the report.
Mortlock said high-performing companies are ones that also
have a long-term strategy for remaining viable, rather than just
cutting staff as a short-term tactic.
(Reporting by Ethan Lou, editing by G Crosse)