Chesapeake Energy Corporation lays off 740 amid falling commodity prices
It is not a good time to be Chesapeake Energy Corporation. Tuesday morning the Oklahoma City-based oil and natural gas provider announced that it has laid off 740 employees, or roughly 15 percent of its work force.
According to a report from the Associated Press, the company’s Oklahoma City headquarters have been hit the hardest by the layoffs: Chesapeake let go more than 560 people from its central office. But the report also stresses that around 2,500 more at headquarters have held on to their jobs. Chesapeake is thus far retaining around 4,000 jobs in total.
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When any major layoff occurs, the biggest question is always: why did this have to happen? In the case of Chesapeake Energy, one needs to look no further than declining oil and gas prices. This is not the first energy business to suffer from a declining market: as financial blog The Motley Fool notes, top oil company ConocoPhillips also recently laid off 10 percent of its employee base. For Chesapeake—also a bigger fish, billed as the second-largest producer of natural gas in the United States plus the 12th-largest producer of oil and LNG—weaker prices have also become too much to bear. As AP reports, Chesapeake’s CEO discussed this in a letter to employees:
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These significant actions have also included selling off assets—in July, the company sold $840 million in assets to Denver, CO-based FourPoint Energy LLC. But such actions were not enough to counter significant loss of revenue, ultimately making the downsizing measure necessary. To ease the transition, Chesapeake reported that it is supplying its affected employees with severance packages containing up to a year’s pay depending on position and tenure.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.