• Driller cites low prices, declines to quantify layoffs
  • Murphy cutting capital spending by 73 percent this year

Murphy Oil Corp. in joining U.S. producers in cutting jobs at home and abroad as a prolonged collapse in crude prices crimps cash flows.

The company is reducing jobs in every location as it trims spending and seeks savings, Kelly Whitley, a spokeswoman for El Dorado, Arkansas-based Murphy, said in an e-mail Friday. The company, which had about 1,300 employees at the end of last year, is “not prepared to quantify" the size of the cuts at this time, Murphy said. Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported the layoffs on its website earlier.

“Over the course of the past year and a half, Murphy has taken actions to lower costs in direct response to the negative impacts of low commodity prices," Whitley said. “Head count has been lowered across all functions in every location to match our lower capital spend."

Energy producers from Anadarko Petroleum Corp. to Devon Energy Corp. to Chesapeake Energy Corp. have been shrinking their workforce to weather the worst market rout in a generation. The downturn has deepened globally after claiming more than 250,000 jobs and $100 billion of investment last year as companies become increasingly strapped for cash.

Murphy drills in the U.S. and Canada, offshore Malaysia and in the Gulf of Mexico. The company slashed its capital budget by 73 percent this year, to $580 million.

Murphy shares fell 3.3 percent to $24.35 at 1:54 p.m. in New York, paring its gain this year to 8.3 percent.

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