Halliburton to suspend cementing operations in Alberta


A multinational corporation that has operated cementing services in Alberta for close to a century plans to shut down those operations in Western Canada by the end of the month.

Halliburton, an oilfield service company headquartered in Texas, says it is suspending its cementing product service line at the conclusion of 2019.

“We made this difficult decision because we do not foresee the ability for the product line to provide a sufficient rate of return. We will continue to provide specialty cementing solutions, blends and chemical additives to our customers that require our proprietary products and processes,” the company said in an emailed statement.

“All of our other product lines that are currently working in Canada are still operating.”

Halliburton has operated its cementing division in Alberta since 1926, when founder Erle P. Halliburton sent his brothers, George and Paul, to Turner Valley to start the Oilwell Cementing Company, a spokesperson said.

It currently operates its cementing service line in Calgary, Red Deer, Whitecourt and Grande Prairie.

The company said it was “not going into specific employee information,” when asked how many workers in Alberta could be laid off.

Halliburton’s cementing operations date back to 1919, specializing in oil, gas, geothermal, offshore and hydrate wells, the company states on its website.

It has more than 105 cement laboratories throughout the world.

In a publication earlier this year celebrating its 100th anniversary, the company said it has about 1,500 employees in 30 offices across Canada.

“We’ve had to find a way to differentiate ourselves by reducing internal costs and improving efficiency. The only way we’re going to be able to win work is to be able to save our customers money,” Halliburton Canada vice-president John Gorman stated in the publication, which discusses the economic and political challenges that Halliburton faces today.

“If customers can’t reduce costs, they’re not working and neither are we. It’s been a forced new normal.”