Bakersfield-based Aera Energy continues to feel the financial pressure of falling oil prices, so much so that the company is going through a transition it's calling "Next Aera", according to a company spokesperson.
A 23ABC News source close to the situation said employees were notified today that as many as 160 people could be out of a job through the transition.
Aera spokesperson Cindy Pollard said the company is going through an "organizational redesign," which the company is calling "Next Aera". In a statement to 23ABC, Pollard wrote:
As a part of this redesign, we are implementing strategies and reimagining processes to improve our overhead cost structure. As we transition to the Next Aera, some of our long-time friends and respected colleagues will be transitioning out of the organization. As always, we will remain committed to our personal safety and the safety of those around us and fulfill our environmental commitments.
Aera joins a list of several companies with oil business in Kern County, including Chevron and Halliburton.
The slumping oil prices have also had an impact on the overall economy of Kern County, forcing many county departments to make tough budget cuts to offset the financial deficit.
As of Tuesday, WTI crude futures were listed at $45 per barrel, compared with $88 per barrel at this time two years ago.