Husky Energy lays off staff to align with lower spending plans and strategy

Company had 5,157 permanent employees at end of 2018, according to regulatory filing

Husky Energy logo at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary in 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Calgary-based Husky Energy Inc. is confirming it is laying off staff, but won’t say how many.

The company controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing says the reductions are a result of steps taken to align its workforce with its capital plan and strategy.

In a regulatory filing earlier this year, Husky indicated it had 5,157 permanent employees as of the end of 2018, little changed from the numbers at the end of 2016 and 2017.

Husky, which reports its third-quarter results on Thursday, announced at its investor day last spring that it would slash its average budget by $350 million per year to $3.15 billion over the next five years, accomplishing that in part by cutting costs.

It said it would still grow its production by 100,000 barrels per day by 2023.

READ MORE: Husky Energy to sell Prince George oil refinery to Tidewater

The job cuts are reminiscent of a series of layoffs by Calgary oil and gas producers following an oil price crash in late 2014 that contributed to an estimated 110,000 direct and indirect jobs being lost through 2015 and 2016.

“These changes put Husky in the best position to achieve its goals,” said Husky spokeswoman Kim Guttormson in an email Tuesday.

“This was about changing the way we approach our business, the way we make decisions and the way we work together to meet our goals.”

The Canadian Press

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