Murphy Oil to Close El Dorado Headquarters and Move to Houston | Arkansas Business News

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Murphy Oil Corp., citant "l'extraordinaire baisse des prix du pétrole brut", a déclaré mercredi qu'elle allait fermer son siège social de 86 000 SF El Dorado, qui abritera 82 employés, ainsi qu'un bureau au Canada, et consolider son siège social à un existant bureau à Houston.

In a press release, president of the company Claiborne Deming noted that the company has already reduced its capital spending by about 50%, or $ 700 million; lower its dividend by 50%, or $ 76.5 million on an annualized basis; and cut executive salaries by 22% on average – but that’s not enough.

“We reluctantly realize that we need to consolidate our offices to save additional costs in order to remain competitive in this unprecedented industrial environment. We simply have no choice and only made this decision after we have exhausted all other cost-cutting measures, “Deming told me.

” The Eldorado closing an office is particularly painful and difficult because the business was founded here by C.H. Murphy Jr. and has been an integral and important part of the community for many years. “

CEO Roger W. Jenkins said the decision is made by the company “with sadness.” He said the only way forward for the company was to consolidate in Houston.

“The company recognizes the difficulties this decision poses to many people in El Dorado and Calgary, and we are committed to treating all affected people in accordance with past practice and plan to offer appropriate severance packages,” said -he declares. “These actions will have no impact on our field operations in the United States and Canada, and we expect these office closings to be completed early in the third quarter of 2020.”

The company has said it will continue to fund the El Dorado Promise, a program it founded in 2007 to pay school fees – up to the highest amount charged by a Arkansas public university – of each graduate of the El Dorado Public School District.

In a statement, Governor Asa Hutchinson said he was sad to hear of the move.

“Murphy Oil and Murphy USA have been incredible partners for Arkansas for many decades and I am confident that they will continue to be a key part of our economic future, even though we are saddened by the news today that Murphy Oil will relocate 82. jobs to Houston as a result of this change, “said Hutchinson.

“We are very pleased with the continued presence of Murphy USA, which has 600 employees and their headquarters in El Dorado, and their continued commitment to the El Dorado promise,” added the governor. “We know that we will continue to work with the two companies in the future. “

The announcement of the consolidation of the head office comes as the company publishes its results for the first quarter, showing a net loss attributable to the company of $ 416 million, or $ 2.71 net loss per diluted share. The adjusted net loss, which excludes discontinued operations and other exceptional items, was $ 46 million, or 30 cents per diluted share.

‘No choice’

Company spokeswoman Kelly Whitley told Arkansas Business that Murphy Oil had “no other choice but to move from El Dorado to Houston.”

The global oil market has suffered “a precipitous fall in prices that has come so quickly,” she said, squeezing the company’s budget.

“In addition to that, there was the economic impact of COVID-19, which required decisive action and lower costs internally,” said Whitley.

Whitley said the company’s budget was based on much higher oil prices, “and we were hit by COVID and no demand for our product. “

She highlighted the deep cuts in capital spending and a halved dividend for shareholders as examples of the zeal to cut business costs, as well as executive salaries cut by 25% and a drop of 35% for Jenkins. The directors have reduced their mandates by 30%.

“Leaving El Dorado has been painful and difficult because the company was founded there and has had deep roots for over 70 years,” said Whitley, revealing that some of the 82 employees at El Dorado have been offered transfers in Houston. “Some will receive retirement benefits and others will receive severance benefits. But our company follows best practices to be fair with employees. “

“Devastated”, but not shocked

El Dorado Mayor Veronica Smith-Creer said she was devastated but not shocked by the news of the decision, which she said had “alluded to previously”. She said company president and Murphy family member Deming called “softly tell me” just before an Arkansas Business call.

“Of course, this is a loss for the city, but unfortunately with the oil prices that we have seen and where we are going, I cannot say that it was totally unexpected. “

She said it was bad news, “but not the worst news because Murphy USA will stay in El Dorado.” Murphy USA Inc., which emerged from Murphy Oil in 2013, is a national chain of more than 1,400 fuel and convenience stores.

Smith-Creer said Murphy Oil has confirmed its commitment to the El Dorado Promise, a highly acclaimed college scholarship program for all graduates from the public school system of El Dorado.

“The promise of El Dorado will continue to be sustained after the move,” said the mayor, although she admitted there would be less financial support for the Murphy Arts District, the downtown revitalization project. city ​​focused on entertainment in the yard of the oil giant.

“Whether the company moved or not, the situation was that it would receive less support from Murphy Oil,” said Smith-Creer. “Because of the price of oil, it was going to be inevitable regardless of the movement. I don’t have an approximate figure on what it’s going to be. But because of COVID-19, entertainment across the city has stalled. Restrictions are lifted by degree, but at the moment there are no rallies. ”

Murphy Oil’s head office in El Dorado is less than five years old. Designed by Polk Stanley Wilcox of Little Rock, the 86,000 square foot building consists of a two-story hall and gallery with meeting rooms connected to a five-story office tower by a stairwell glass with the Murphy Oil Corp logo.

Lumber, banking roots

Murphy Oil’s roots go back to a lumber and bank business in southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana. The oil division started in 1907, when the first oil production plant was established in the Caddo field in Louisiana, Deming told Arkansas Business in an interview in 2004.

C.H. Murphy Sr., founder of Deming’s company and grandfather, was an intelligent and intelligent man “who had the talent to find and associate with brilliant people,” said Deming.

After the discovery of petroleum in Union County, the commodity became an increasingly important part of Murphy’s overall business. But the oil division remained subordinated to logging operations and the bank until the mid-1930s.

After World War II, Deming’s uncle C.H. Murphy Jr. joined the family business and ultimately oversaw the incorporation of Murphy Corp. in 1950. It was reincorporated in Delaware 14 years later under the name of Murphy Oil Corp.

In the years that followed, the company became an oil and gas power with operations around the world.

In Arkansas, it is prominent among iconic companies, with Walmart Inc. of Bentonville, Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale, J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. of Lowell in stature and influence. The Murphy family and business leaders are key members of Arkansas’s economic and political community.

Murphy Oil was once one of the country’s largest publicly traded companies according to Fortune magazine, although it fell from the magazine’s 500 list in 2016 after a previous drop in fuel prices.

She created two companies listed on the stock exchange: the timber and commercial real estate company Deltic Timber Corp. El Dorado, which was purchased by Potlatch in 2018; and Murphy USA Inc. of El Dorado, a national chain of gas stations and convenience stores.

Murphy Oil said its headquarters Calgary, Alberta, Canada, has approximately 110 employees. The company had 882 employees at the end of last year, with operations in North and South America, Southeast Asia, Australia and Mexico.

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