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Drilling firm to lay off 250 contract land brokers

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Antero Resources will be laying off more than 250 contract land brokers operating in the region, a company official said Monday.

Al Schopp, Antero’s regional vice president and chief administrative officer, said the Denver-based exploration and drilling company is laying off the land brokers to “focus as much capital as we can into our drilling program.”

Schopp said the layoffs will only affect contract land brokers and not Antero’s employees.

“It’s not good news,” Schopp said. “It’s not what we like to see.”

Schopp attributed the layoffs to the low oil prices that have impacted many energy companies in recent months.

The low crude oil prices have put downward pressure on prices for the natural gas liquids Antero produces out of the Marcellus, Schopp said.

Crude oil prices influence the market for natural gas liquids such as butane, isobutane and propane, he said.

“Those (natural gas liquids) have some correlation to oil prices, and those (natural gas liquids) are getting hit pretty hard,” Schopp said.

With these commodities commanding lower prices, the company has had to reevaluate how much capital it commits to land acquisition…

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