Record bankruptcies and redundancies

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Tim Haïdar

Lower oil prices have already seen big movements in mergers and acquisitions - the prime example of which was the Q4 2014 purchase of Baker Hughes by Halliburton for $34.6 billion. Lower oil prices will doubtless see smaller to mid-size outfits either put out to pasture or cannibalised - especially those involved in more the more costly aspects of oil and gas extraction, such as heavy oil and high pressure high temperature projects.

Of course, mergers usually entrain redundancies, so expect employee numbers to fall concomitant to takeover announcements. A recent report suggested that the economic malaise may drive one in three UK oil and gas firms into bankruptcy.