Sept. 12, 2016 05:13 PM

Like the close competitor it failed to merge with earlier this year, oilfield services giant Halliburton has implemented a furlough program to avoid layoffs through the rest of 2016.

The program affects approximately 500 manufacturing employees in Houston and Carrollton, Texas, and Lafayette, Director of Public Relations Emily Mir tells ABiz.

“This measure will allow Halliburton to sustain employee headcount at these facilities during the demand decrease it foresees for the remaining part of 2016,” Mir says. “Impacted employees will be assigned furloughs to ensure Halliburton’s customers do not experience any service disruption."

The furlough program begins today, Sept. 12, and will last for approximately 90 days. Mir cautions that business conditions might cause the company to adjust the program.

Under the furlough program, hourly employees work a reduced schedule per bi-weekly pay period, and salaried employees must take one full week off without pay during the furlough period.

Halliburton’s decision to implement a furlough program comes on the heels of a similar announcement from Baker Hughes earlier this month (though Baker Hughes was not specific about how its program works).

Both companies have struggled amid a slump in drilling activity since oil prices dropped from more than $100 per barrel in mid-2014 to about $45-$50 per barrel today.

Halliburton is dual headquartered in Dubai and Houston and ranks as the second largest oilfield services company in the U.S., with Schlumberger the largest, and Baker Hughes assuming the third place slot. Last year Halliburton employed about 1,000 people in the Acadiana region.

Combined the three companies have laid off tens of thousands of workers.

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