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In the middle of the hot Permian oil and gas play, a trucking company is closing some operations

A trucking company is shutting down a facility in the middle of the red-hot Permian basin, but it isn’t clear what led to the closure.

Product & Logistics Services LLC, known as P&LS and a subsidiary of Schlumberger, filed a notice during the week of May 6 with the Texas Workforce Commission that it is closing its operations in Monahans, Texas. Monahans is about 35 miles west of Odessa, which along with Midland, are the two city centers of the Permian Basin. The number of jobs it listed as disappearing because of layoffs was 124.

The closure is expected to be permanent, according to the WARN letter sent by P&LS to the Texas Workforce Commission last week. Layoffs will take place between July 6 and July 19, the letter said.

There are signs of a slowdown in drilling activity. The Baker Hughes rig count for the Permian Basin was most recent at 457 after being up to 493 in November 2018. It’s down slightly from a year ago. The chart below from SONAR shows the pace of new drilling applications in the state of Texas.

But John Rojas, the director of the driver training program at Del Mar Community College in Corpus Christi who gets drivers ready for the types of jobs that have been in heavy demand in the Permian and other basins, said his program has not seen a downturn. “They’re still sending plenty of students to us because demand is still strong,” he told FreightWaves. The students in the school’s course are in class or training six days a week for four weeks before being ready to receive their Commercial Drivers’ License.

Rojas said he was not familiar with any factors that might have led to the P&LS closure nor had he heard of similar closures. Most oil patch trucking companies working the Permian Basin are between 20 and 100 trucks, he said, with generally a 1:1 ratio of trucks to employees.


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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.

4 Comments

  1. poor management is why pl&s is closing is my opinion..Does not have anything to do with slowdown in the permian..

  2. Piss poor Management and lack of accountability is why they are done.
    I quit them over a year ago, I’m extremely surprised they lasted this long.

  3. With insurance rates rising like the space shuttle ,the less than stellar reports any driver has given them ,coupled with the 33.3 % out of service for hazmat with the national average of4.5 % they are probably closing because of the laughter they receive when renewing their insurance policies !

  4. Im still curious as to why everyone thinks we are in a boom. Oil is below $60, onshore rig count is below 1,000. Service cost are still well below what they should bebe. First thing to go with a service company, is HSE and maintenance, and that is what separates the men from the boys. Want to run 1 and make money?? Or 10 and lose?

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