Employees at National Oilwell Varco in McAlester have been told there are plans to close or relocate the company’s McAlester plant, according to multiple accounts.
National Oilwell Varco’s main McAlester plant is at 501 N. George Nigh Expressway. National Oilwell also uses the former Simonton Windows building at the Steven Taylor Industrial Park.
Questions about the facilities in McAlester were directed to a spokesman for the Houston Texas-based corporation. A series of phone calls over several days were directed to a voicemail, but no one has spoken to the News-Capital in response.
However, the News-Capital has talked with several employees or their family members, all of whom related similar information.
City of McAlester Economic Development Director Kirk Ridenour confirmed the plans to close the McAlester sites.
"They're going to close both their facilities," Ridenour said. He said plans are to begin liquidating both McAlester National Oilwell Varco facilities, perhaps as soon as the beginning of the year.
Property records list National Oilwell Varco as the owner of both sites. Ridenour said the company's McAlester operations are expected to be consolidated into the company's Houston facilities.
Ridenour said it came as a bit of a surprise to learn the McAlester sites are closing, but he noted the oil and gas industry has been facing some challenges recently.
He said there were approximately 90 National Oilwell Varco employees at the McAlester plant, pre-COVID-19, at the beginning of the year. Currently, there are around 60, he said.
"It's terrible when any of our major employers close," he said. "Our sympathies go to the employees and families who are losing their jobs."
Several sources with whom the News-Capital spoke spoke said two company representatives from the company’s Houston headquarters traveled to National Oilwell Varco’s main McAlester plant, resulting in a meeting with employees. They said employees were told of plans to close the company’s McAlester sites and move the assets to the company’s Houston facilities.
They were told the process could take as long as next summer, with no definite date given to the employees at the time — but several employees said they expected the plant to close earlier.
“National Oilwell Varco produces oilfield equipment, technologies and expertise that answer the challenges oil and gas customers worldwide,” the company’s website states.
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