Canadian oil and gas companies reduce headcount by as much as 50% during downturn

Not all changes were made in a value-focused and sustainable way

CALGARY, Feb. 23, 2017 /CNW/ - According to a new EY market study, completed in association with the University of Calgary's Haskayne School of Business, 81% of oil and gas companies that reduced headcount by between 25% and 30% during the downturn reported the highest level of reorganization success.

"Our study results point to a clear relationship between greater headcount reductions and overall perceived success of reorganization efforts," says Lance Mortlock, EY's Canadian Strategy Services Leader, Oil & Gas. "The caveat however, is that this relationship becomes weaker once companies surpass a 50% headcount reduction. So we're really seeing an optimal point where companies reduced headcount between 25-35%."

In Alberta alone, the industry has seen direct job cuts of nearly 30,000 since the fourth quarter of 2014 (according to Government of Canada Labour Market Bulletin). According to EY and University of Calgary's Haskayne School of Business' Canadian oil and gas reorganizations: From surviving to thriving in challenging times report, 80% of companies surveyed have reduced headcount over the last two years. Of those, 64% took the opportunity to restructure internally — shifting work, role changes, streamlining processes or consolidating areas, functions or business units.

"Not surprisingly, many companies were focused on short-term survival when oil prices initially dropped so dramatically in 2014," says Peter Sherer, Associate Professor, Strategy and Organizations, University of Calgary, Haskayne School of Business. "While the majority of our market study respondents reported high levels of success with their reorganizations, many indicated that there are further changes to come."

When it comes to successful reorganizations, survey respondents indicated a direct correlation between increased upfront rigour and higher levels of success.

"With every challenge, there's an opportunity," says Mortlock. "It's tempting to simply jump into survival mode and make quick, short-term tactical changes when times are tough. But thinking long-term, strategically and properly assessing your current state helps drive more sustainable success."

The report highlights that, among successful reorganizations, companies were more likely to consider their short- and long- term goals, conduct external benchmarking and make actual changes to how work gets done.

"Whatever the direction of commodity prices, one thing is for sure," says Mortlock. "Structural change is underway in the oil and gas industry, and successful companies will have to fundamentally change their business constructs, and refocus on their people and processes to be competitive. Our market study provides key insights about how to start and be successful at the reorganization process."

To read the full report and survey results, visit: Canadian oil and gas reorganizations

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

For more information, please visit ey.com/ca. Follow us on Twitter @EYCanada.

EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.

SOURCE EY (Ernst & Young)

For further information: Erika Bennett, erika.bennett@ca.ey.com, 403 206 5157; Sasha Anopina, sasha.anopina@ca.ey.com, 416 943 2637; Julie Fournier, julie.fournier@ca.ey.com, 514 874 4308

RELATED LINKS
http://www.ey.com

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890