Officials with Baker Hughes/Centrilift confirmed Friday that approximately 1,500 employees worldwide have been laid off, including approximately 65 employees at the Claremore plant.

“What’s driving this is the global recession, the lower prices on oil and gas, and spending by customers has fallen,” Baker Hughes/Centrilift Director of Investor Relations Gary Flaharty said. “Less than five percent of the 1,300 employees at the Claremore location were laid off.”

That would mean less than 65 employees at the Claremore Baker Hughes/Centrilift location are now without a job with the company.

Flaharty also said globally, the company employs approximately 40,000, with about 1,500 of those being laid off this week. In North America, 850 of 17,000 employees were let go.

This decision wasn’t taken lightly by Baker Hughes officials, according to Flaharty who says activity from August and September of last year were down approximately 30 percent.

Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority Executive Director Tim Hight maintains Baker Hughes/Centrilift is an anchor in the community and will continue to exist in that capacity.

“They are a good corporate citizen, but they have issues just like anybody else,” Hight said. “CIEDA will continue to help them and give them the tools to be successful in our community.”

Hight added that lay offs are pretty “common practice” for big corporations as the markets shift and the needs change.

“Centrilift is a market leader in the electrical submersible pumping (ESP) systems industry for both oilfield and water well applications. Centrilift is the only provider that designs and manufactures the complete ESP system, including the down-hole motor, seal, pump, gas separator and sensors as well as power cable and surface controllers,” according to the company’s Web site.

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