FMC, Technip seek to reinvent offshore drilling via merger

Houston Chronicle

FMC Technologies’ proposed $13 billion merger with France’s Technip is the oil industry’s latest bid to reinvent an offshore drilling business crippled by high costs and low oil prices.

The all-stock deal, announced Thursday, would wrap FMC, a Houston oil equipment maker, with Technip to create the second-largest oil services company by revenue, ahead of Houston’s Halliburton and Baker Hughes, and behind only international giant Schlumberger, according to Rystad Energy, a Norwegian consulting firm. The proposed merger, which would cut up to $400 million a year in costs, brings additional worries for employees, already seeing layoffs since oil prices collapsed in late 2014. FMC employs 3,100 in Houston, and Technip employs 2,200 here, including in offices along Interstate 10’s Energy Corridor.

“The first thought for employees is always: How does this affect me? Is my job safe?” said Keith Wolf, an executive at Houston staffing firm Murray Resources. “In a relatively down market, it’s a scary thing to be looking for a job when opportunities are more limited.”

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