Chevron Corporation’s presence in Lafayette will be severely diminished by the end of 2016 due to the oil giant’s decision to consolidate its Gulf of Mexico operations in Covington. Based in San Ramon, Calif., Chevron is the world’s second-largest publicly traded oil company.
The consolidation is likely tied to the steep drop in oil prices, which have rebounded this year to the $60 per barrel range after losing about half of their value last year, dropping to a five-year low of about $50. Chevron and its competitors have also been cutting jobs in response the price slide.
Chevron Communications Advisor Chris Merrifield tells ABiz in a written response that the company has recently identified a plan it believes will build a long-term, sustainable and competitive business in the region. That plan includes a significant shift in its portfolio to a primarily deepwater business model he says will have fewer, more complex assets.
He says Chevron’s Gulf of Mexico business unit will reduce its footprint and consolidate its Lafayette office, located across from Acadiana Mall at 5750 Johnston St., with the Covington office. The consolidation will take place in a series of phases, he notes, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.
Chevron’s Employee Resource Training Center on Galbert Road in Lafayette will continue to operate. “The ERTC remains a centerpiece in Chevron’s workforce training and development efforts for the company’s operations in the Gulf of Mexico, training hundreds of industry professionals each month,” Merrifield writes.
Merrifield did not address ABiz's specific questions about the impact on local personnel, including how many employees will be offered transfers and how many might lose their jobs.
ABiz’s sources estimate that Chevron has just under 300 employees in its Lafayette office and close to 400 who report to the Lafayette office but work offshore. If those numbers are accurate, the closure could impact 600-700 Lafayette-area employees.