By LARRY PHILLIPS
• Leader & Times
Several dozen Halliburton employees received notice Thursday morning the company had decided to close one of its Liberal facilities. Though similar to another rumor of such closing several years ago, this was no rumor, according to Halliburton Senior Manager – PR & Community Initiatives Emily Mir, who is located at Halliburton Headquarters in Houston.
“Halliburton will close its Production Enhancement and Cementing facility in Liberal on Tuesday, April 1, 2014,” Mir noted in a response to an inquiry from the L&T.
Though this particular facility will be closing, it doesn’t necessarily mean those employees will be out of a job, according to Mir.
“Halliburton management has offered all 34 operations’ employees transfers to the company’s facility in Pampa, Texas, or any other facility in the company’s northern or southern U.S. region where a similar job might be available,” she said.
Southwest Kansas has not seen the kind of drilling activity that is being experienced in North Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma and parts of Texas due to increased fracking technology, and that may have played a part in the closing of Halliburton’s cementing and fracking facility in Liberal.
Mir would only say, “Halliburton is closing the facility as a result of changing business needs from its customers.”
Ironically, Halliburton was instrumental in initiating fracking in the country – within a few miles of Liberal, in fact. The first experimental hydraulic fracturing treatment in the United States took place in 1947 in the Hugoton gas field in Grant County.
Though this particular office will be closing, Halliburton will still employ staff in Liberal.
“Halliburton has two other facilities with a combined total of 43 employees in Liberal – one facility for the company's wireline business and one for its Baroid business,” Mir noted.