The oil price slump is weighing on big winners in the US shale oil sector, forcing them to go on a spree of steep job cuts.
The top three in the sector have shed 17,000 jobs over the past month, with more layoffs likely in store.
The biggest dismissal has taken place in Schlumberger. The world’s largest oilfield services company has laid off 9,000 employees.
Baker Hughes is eliminating 7,000 jobs. The number three company in the oil services sector is being taken by number-two Halliburton.
Halliburton itself is showing the door to 1,000 members of its workforce.
The wave of dismissals reveals the extent of the damage which the US energy industry in Texas and Gulf of Mexico states is exposed to.
The United States has touted shale oil as the resource which would lead the country to energy independence. The craze for big proceeds has prompted the government to splash huge amounts of money into the sector.
The free fall in oil prices, however, has forced energy companies to cut back on exploration, leaving major services providers badly hit.
Energy entrepreneurs warn that up to one third of the US shale industry is likely to get knocked out.
They say the recent US shale gas boom was unsustainable, and now it’s time for a bust.