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Doyon Drilling announces 304 layoffs, adding to grim toll in Alaska oil patch

  • Author: Alex DeMarban
  • Updated: May 2, 2020
  • Published May 1, 2020
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Doyon Drilling told state regulators on Thursday it laid off 304 workers amid the COVID-19 economic crunch, adding to large layoffs in the oil industry.

The company’s staff reductions are permanent until the industry recovers from the crisis, Ron Wilson, general manager of Doyon Drilling, said in the April 30 letter.

The oilfield service industry has already reported at least 274 layoffs in Alaska, according to the state office that tracks mass layoffs under federal law.

Companies have cut back spending after oil prices crashed this year, following a historic slump in demand during the pandemic.

Like other states, Alaska has experienced widespread layoffs during the virus-driven slowdown across multiple business sectors. High-paying oil industry jobs are closely watched, and cuts in the North Slope fields beginning in 2015 during low oil prices at the time sparked a recession that ended last year.

Doyon’s layoffs began April 7. They will continue through the end of May, the letter said.

ConocoPhillips in early April announced it was halting its North Slope drilling program to prevent the virus from spreading at remote oilfield camps with limited medical services.

The decision affected Doyon Drilling, which provides rigs and services to ConocoPhillips and other oil companies.

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