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Halliburton to cut thousands of jobs as oil slumps

NEW YORK -- U.S. oil services company Halliburton said on Tuesday it expects to cut potentially more than 6,000 jobs across the globe because of a "challenging market environment" resulting from low oil prices.

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A Halliburton facility sits behind a barbed wire fence on the outskirts of Williston, North Dakota January 23, 2015. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen

 NEW YORK -- U.S. oil services company Halliburton said on Tuesday it expects to cut potentially more than 6,000 jobs across the globe because of a "challenging market environment" resulting from low oil prices.

Halliburton, the latest in a growing list of major oil industry companies laying off workers because of a worldwide glut of crude, said it expects to let go 6.5 percent to 8 percent of its 80,000-strong workforce, amounting to between 5,200 and 6,400 jobs.

The number includes the 1,000 jobs that had been cut in the eastern hemisphere in the fourth quarter of 2014, a company spokeswoman said. Halliburton said the impact of the layoffs would be across all company operations, but it did not offer specifics.

Halliburton has facilities in Dickinson and Williston.

Oil prices have dropped about half to $50 a barrel since June because of the global glut of oil, forcing many companies to reduce spending. The number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States has plummeted in recent weeks as drillers halt projects to save cash. Record high stocks of oil in the United States have continued to pressure prices.

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Layoffs by companies struggling with the slowdown have reached into the tens of thousands.

Baker Hughes, a U.S. oil services provider that is being acquired by Halliburton in a deal worth nearly $35 billion, said in January that it would lay off 7,000 employees. Schlumberger, the world's largest oilfield services company, said last month that it would cut 9,000 jobs, or about 7 percent of its workforce.

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