08 January 2015, News Wires – United States Steel plans to temporarily idle its pipe manufacturing plant in the state of Ohio and lay off 614 workers due to weak demand from the oil industry.
The company sent a layoff notice to workers at the Lorain plant on Monday, citing weak market conditions.
“The company has suddenly lost a great deal of business because of the recent downturn in the oil industry,” read a note posted by the United Steel Workers union. “What appeared just a few short weeks ago as being a productive year… has most abruptly turned sour.”
The layoffs come as many North American oil and gas companies have cut capital spending plans following a sharp fall in oil prices, which have more than halved since mid-2014.
US independent Sanchez Energy was the latest company to announce such actions, saying on Wednesday that it would cut spending in 2015 by 60% compared to previously announced plans. That company also said vendors had lowered their prices.
Services companies Schlumberger and Civeo have also laid off workers as operators cut costs.
The layoffs at US Steel will begin on 8 March, a spokeswoman told Reuters.