HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Oilfield service company Halliburton has announced it will institute a mandatory furlough for some 3,500 employees in Texas.

As oil prices continue to fall, the company will send the workers from Houston campus home beginning next week.

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The furlough will begin Monday and will last up to 60 days, company spokeswoman Emily Mir said Wednesday.

During the furlough, affected employees will work one week on followed by one week off, the Houston-based company said. Employees will maintain their benefits, including health insurance, during the week off but will not be paid.

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“We believe moving to this schedule will allow us to best manage costs and provide full benefits for our employees during this difficult market,” Mir said.

Oil and gas prices began to tank after the implosion of an alliance between the OPEC cartel and Russia earlier this month.

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