Athabasca Oil Cuts Quarter of Head Office, Field Staff in Rout

  • Reductions follow job cuts announced by Meg Energy, Devon
  • Canadian energy job losses reach 36,000: industry group

Athabasca Oil Corp. added to a wave of job cuts in Canada’s energy industry this week by eliminating 25 percent of its head office and field workers, as companies grapple with a persistent slump in crude prices.

The reductions were a necessary step for the Calgary-based producer to weather an extended downturn, Matthew Taylor, a company spokesman, said in an e-mail. He declined to say how many positions were eliminated. The company has made prior cuts to bring down costs, saying in May it had halved its head office workforce since the start of 2014.

Athabasca follows Devon Energy Corp. in eliminating jobs in Calgary this week as energy companies globally lower spending to cope with an industry downturn that has lasted 16 months. Devon cut 200 workers on Wednesday, the same day Meg Energy Corp. said it had cut 30 percent of its workforce in the past year.

The number of oil and natural gas jobs lost in Canada because of the downturn has reached 36,000, according to an estimate this month from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.