Crude oil prices have declined more than 50 percent since last year. Fracking companies in places like North Dakota, West Texas, parts of Oklahoma and Kansas have all taken a big hit.
Many are filing for bankruptcy protection or going out of business.
“There were a large number of new entrants into the fracking business during the last four to five years,” said industry analyst James West of Evercore. “These are very small … they were building out their fleet. And now they’re finding there’s no work out there, and so they’re having to close their doors.”
More than 80,000 jobs have been lost since this time last year, by one estimate. Even large companies such as Halliburton have cut jobs.
“These are primarily lower-skilled jobs,” West said, such as workers on a fracking crew who operate the pumps.
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