As Oxy acquisition looms, Anadarko workers drown sorrows, update resumes

Bartender Sean Stapleton serves drinks to the regulars during happy hour at The Refuge Bar and Bistro Tuesday, Jun. 4, 2019 in The Woodlands, TX. Local area businesses are concerned about the possibility of Anadarko employees and the headquarters relocating, and The Refuge sees quite of few of those employees frequent the bar.
Bartender Sean Stapleton serves drinks to the regulars during happy hour at The Refuge Bar and Bistro Tuesday, Jun. 4, 2019 in The Woodlands, TX. Local area businesses are concerned about the possibility of Anadarko employees and the headquarters relocating, and The Refuge sees quite of few of those employees frequent the bar.

The Refuge Bar & Bistro, just a short walk from Anadarko Petroleum’s headquarters, is becoming a place for Anadarko workers to drown their sorrows as they update resumés and contemplate the future of The Woodlands without its flagship employer, which recently agreed to be acquired by Occidental Petroleum.

“It’s a big scare for the employees,” said the bar owner, Luis Padilla. “A lot of them are just waiting and seeing and not wanting to get hysterical just yet.”

Occidental last month agreed to buy Anadarko for $38 billion, outbidding the much bigger oil company Chevron. The looming question is whether Oxy will maintain a presence in The Woodlands or move out entirely, relocating the Anadarko employees to Oxy’s new headquarters in Houston’s Energy Corridor.

With Oxy under increased pressure to cut both costs and the massive debt it will take on to complete the acquisition, it’s a decent bet that layoffs are coming and Anadarko’s twin-towers headquarters — the tallest buildings between Houston and Dallas — could end up for sale.

“It’s a huge impact to have that many people working and living here,” said J.J. Hollie, president and chief executive of The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce. “Losing that would cause ripples we’d certainly feel.”

The full version of this article first appeared on the Houston Chronicle – an Energy Voice content partner. For more from the Houston Chronicle click here.

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