EL DORADO, Ark. (News release) – In recognition of the extraordinary drop in crude oil prices, an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company, Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE: MUR), is closing its legacy headquarters office in El Dorado, Arkansas, home to approximately 80 employees, as well as its longstanding office in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, home to approximately 110 employees. Consequently, it will be consolidating all worldwide staff activities to its existing office location in Houston, Texas as the new corporate headquarters.
“Over the past several months, we have taken several actions to significantly reduce costs, including cutting this year’s capital expenditures by approximately 50 percent, or $700 million, lowering the company’s dividend by 50 percent, or $76.5 million on an annualized basis, and lowering executive officers’ salaries on average 22 percent, with the chief executive officer’s reduced by 35 percent. We realize, reluctantly, that we need to consolidate our offices to capture additional cost savings to remain competitive in this unprecedented industry environment. We simply do not have a choice and came to this decision only after exhausting all other cost saving measures,” stated Claiborne P. Deming, Chairman of the Board. Deming added, “The El Dorado office closure is particularly painful and difficult, because the company was founded here by C. H. Murphy, Jr. and has been an integral and important part of the community for many years.”
“This decision is one we take with sadness, but with the understanding that our only path forward is to consolidate into one office in Houston. The company recognizes the hardship this decision causes to many in El Dorado and Calgary, and we are committed to treating all those impacted consistent with past practices and plan to offer appropriate severance arrangements,” according to Roger W. Jenkins, President and Chief Executive Officer. “These actions will not impact our field operations in the US and Canada, and we anticipate these office closures to be completed early in the third quarter 2020.”
Importantly, the company intends to continue funding the El Dorado Promise. Founded in 2007, the program pays the college tuition, up to the highest amount charged by an Arkansas public university, of every college-bound graduate of the El Dorado Public School District.
In a separate press release issued today, the company announced its first quarter 2020 financial and operating results. The company will provide further insight regarding its consolidation efforts and cost savings initiatives on the first quarter 2020 conference call.
Arkansas House Speaker Matthew Shepherd released the following statement:
“Murphy Oil Corporation has been a staple of my hometown for decades and I’m saddened to hear that El Dorado will no longer be its home.
My heart goes out to the employees and their families who are facing uncertain times.
I’m thankful for Murphy Oil’s contribution to El Dorado over the years and its commitment to continue the El Dorado Promise which has helped create a brighter future for our students and will continue to do so.”