March 25, 2020 / 3:25 AM / in 15 days

North Dakota oilfield firm MBI Energy Services cuts 242 jobs

March 24 (Reuters) - North Dakota oilfield firm MBI Energy Services said it will cut 242 jobs, according to a state filing, the latest energy company to slash its workforce amid a sharp decline in oil prices.

The Belfield, North Dakota-based company plans to lay off workers in Ross, Watford City and Belfield, North Dakota, according to a filling submitted to the state last week. It specializes in water management logistics and well services.

U.S. oil prices have plunged to around $25 a barrel, down from over $65 at the start of the year. The declines follow a sharp drop in demand from the coronavirus outbreak and after Saudi Arabia and Russia launched an unexpected price war.

Major oilfield firms like Halliburton and Schlumberger this week said they planned to slash spending. Halliburton last week said it would furlough 3,500 workers for two months due to the price crash.

North Dakota oil producers face some of the highest costs in the country, according to an analysis by Deutsche Bank, with a breakeven of $46.54 a barrel, sharply below the roughly $40 a barrel it costs to produce oil in the Permian basin in Texas and New Mexico. (Reporting by Liz Hampton; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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