Southwestern Energy Cuts Workforce 44%, 200 Marcellus Jobs Gone

cutting jobsWe have some very sad news to share today. Yesterday Southwestern Energy Company, one of the largest drillers in the Marcellus/Utica and the third largest independent natural gas driller in the U.S., announced it will lay off 1,100 people and pause its drilling program. That 1,100 is out of 2,500 employees–or 44% of the company. It was just a few weeks ago that Southwestern got a new CEO, Bill Way (see Southwestern Energy Gets New CEO – What’s Ahead for 2016?). We mused at the time: “When there’s a change in leadership, it has the potential to impact company strategy. So we’re always interested when changes of this type come along. The question now is, what’s ahead for 2016 with Bill Way at the helm?” Indeed. We can see what kind of changes Mr. Way is bringing. In October 2014 Southwestern announced a deal to buy 413,000 Marcellus/Utica acres from Chesapeake Energy, most of it in West Virginia (see Chesapeake Sells Close to 25% of Marcellus/Utica Operation). Then in December 2014, Southwestern bought 46,700 net acres of leases in northeastern PA from WPX for $300 million (see First Shoe Drops: WPX Sells 1/2 Marcellus Assets to Southwestern). Southwestern holds about 755,000 acres total in the Marcellus/Utica region. When everyone else was slowing down, Southwestern was doubling down on their drilling program (see Southwestern’s Contrarian Plan: Double Down on Drilling in the Marcellus). It seems that the wind has finally gone out of Southwestern’s sails. The company did not post an official press release on their website, so we’ve pieced together coverage from a number of sources to try and give you a complete picture of what they said yesterday…

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