Callon oil reducing workforce

Published 12:13 am Thursday, February 5, 2015

NATCHEZ — Callon Petroleum announced Wednesday nearly 20 employees would be leaving its workforce through early retirement options offered by company officials.

CEO Fred Callon said Wednesday the company decided to offer several employees, all of whom had 20 or more years with the company, an option to retire early as a way of reducing costs.

“It’s very emotional for these employees who have been with us an average of 20 years and are obviously good friends that have been with us through the ups and downs of the industry,” Callon said. “We appreciate everything they’ve done for the company, but we felt like this was a good opportunity for those employees to take early retirement when (oil) activity is reduced.”

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Callon said a decline in oil prices in the last several months has put the company in a position to rethink its strategy for the coming years.

“We’re positioning the company for the commodity price environment we’re in now, so we can continue to be active at a reduced level for the next couple of years,” Callon said. “With oil prices not being what they were four or five months ago, the board offered a number of early retirement options as a way of reducing costs.”

Callon said 12 to 13 Natchez employees were offered the option, while four to five were offered from the company’s Houston office.

Those employees will retire at various times throughout the next several weeks, Callon said.

On the national level, a rebound in oil prices fizzled out as the contract for U.S. crude dropped 8 percent to $48.88 a barrel. The government reported that crude inventories jumped last week.