The Cenovus staff currently employed in Weyburn are safe from the latest round of cuts. With overall operating earnings down nearly 70 per cent, Cenovus is cutting 300 to 400 jobs.
"Our operations in Weyburn continue to operate and perform quite well at this point. We had a very strong operational second quarter. Our oil production continues to be quite strong overall," said Brett Harris, Cenovus spokesperson. The oilsands productions are particularly strong for Cenovus according to their report. They grew five per cent in the last quarter.
Cenovus already cut 800 jobs across the country earlier this year. Harris said most of those cuts were contractor positions. All of the upcoming cuts will happen in the Calgary office before the end of 2015. A second quarter release from Cenovus directly links the cuts to the low oil price. Crude oil fell below $50 U.S. per barrel earlier this month to a nearly five-year historic low.
"When you have to make the decision to let talented workers go, that's a very difficult decision, but we are facing a new economic reality and that's what we're reacting to," said Harris.
Harris said more cuts may be in store in 2016 but Cenovus is working towards a long-term goal to remain strong with low oil prices.
"We're planning out business based on the $65 U.S. per barrel through 2017 and we expect it to be there, possibly lower, but we've taken a number of steps over the last few months reducing our costs, reducing our work force and we just made a major divestiture of our fee lands. That raised about $3.3 billion gross so we've shored up our balance sheets. We're in a pretty strong position, we think, to be able to not only sustain our existing operations but also have a little bit of growth over the next few years, even if we see prices at $50 U.S. a barrel," he said.
To read the full second quarter report for 2015, click here.