Denver-Based Whiting Petroleum Lays Off 16% Of Workforce, Cuts Officer Pay

September 17, 2020
Weld County Oil DrillingWeld County Oil DrillingHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Oil drilling operations exist in close quarters with homes, farms and epic mountain scenery in Weld County, Colorado. Oct. 25, 2019.

Whiting Petroleum laid off 16 percent of its workforce, the Denver-based energy company said in a statement.

About 90 percent of the jobs were corporate positions, according to Wednesday’s statement. Additionally, Whiting said it cut compensation for company officers by 15 to 20 percent and reduced the number of executives.

Whiting is cutting costs after emerging from bankruptcy in early September. The company was among the first in a rash of producers to go bankrupt as oil prices crashed amid overseas price wars and a decline in demand due to the pandemic.

The turmoil in the energy industry has decimated drilling in Colorado. The number of active rigs in the state has been stuck at five since July, according to Baker Hughes data. That compares with 22 at the start of the year. The count climbed as high as 78 as hydraulic fracking boomed during the past decade.

Extraction Oil & Gas, another Denver-based firm, is still in talks with its lenders after filing for bankruptcy in June.