ConocoPhillips employees under review of layoffs

Friday, November 7th 2008, 7:39 pm
By: News 9

By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

PONCA CITY, Okla. -- While some businesses around the state are cutting jobs, the largest employer in Ponca City is taking a closer look at its company and hundreds of jobs.

ConocoPhillips is the biggest employer in Ponca City and hires about 1,500 employees, and now nearly half of those jobs are under close review.

Ponca City and ConocoPhillips has a long relationship, now the company is under the spotlight. Rumors are flaring around town about possible layoffs at the biggest employer in town. David Myers with the Ponca City Development Authority said it's only a study, and not a loss of jobs.

"You try to tell people the truth and you try to level with them as best as they can," Myers said. "If you don't answer a the rumor, it has a tendency to take a life of its own."

We're told 700 jobs are under review because of high operation costs.

"A study or review to look at business at the Ponca City site and office space available to determine if there's a more efficient way to organize the business," Shanley Wells with ConocoPhillips said.

Myers said the city is aware of the review and is prepared to absorb the workforce with no problem. Myers said there are 85 manufacturers in Ponca City.

"There are plenty of transferrable skills that might be valuable to anybody displaced and we'd certainly hope that anybody who might be impacted by this would consider staying with us in Ponca City," Myers said.

For now, they can only wait and see.

"We pride ourselves in Ponca City in being a family community and there might be some families that are impacted by this and we want to help them through it," Myers said.

Ponca City isn't the only facility under review. ConocoPhillips is also looking at their business locations in Bartlesville, Houston and Denver.

The spokesperson at ConocoPhillips said the review is expected to be complete at the end of January.