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2015-03-20 18:05:00

TALISMAN CUTS 15%

TALISMAN CUTS 15%

Talisman Energy Inc., the Canadian energy firm being taken over by Spain's Respol SA, has joined an expanding list of oil-and-gas producers who are cutting jobs and shaving capital budgets as oil prices continue to slump.

Talisman will cut its workforce by 10% to 15%, or around 150 to 200 employees, and has reduced its 2015 capital program due to low commodity prices, spokesman Brent Anderson said Wednesday.

The news comes the same day the Canadian unit of oil and gas firm ConocoPhillips confirmed it would cut its workforce by 7%, or about 200 positions, due to lower energy prices.

"This difficult decision was made based on the current challenging economic environment," a ConocoPhillips Canada spokeswoman said. On Tuesday, the unit's Houston-based parent said it would curb capital spending through 2017 on expectations that commodities prices will remain volatile.

Talisman is targeting a 2015 capital program of $2.1 billion, a 30% reduction from 2014 spending and down from its original 2015 target of $2.7 billion, according to year-end disclosure documents released earlier this month.

The Talisman job cuts, which affect both contract workers and employees, are primarily at Talisman's Calgary, Alberta, head office and aren't related to the company's pending takeover by Repsol, Mr. Anderson said. Talisman agreed in December to be acquired by Repsol for around $8.3 billion. That deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

Slumping oil prices, which hit a six-year low on Wednesday on growing U.S. crude stockpiles, are forcing U.S. and Canadian oil and gas producers to pare back on staff and spending plans.

On Tuesday, Talisman's Calgary peer Nexen Energy ULC said it would cut around 13% of its workforce, or about 400 jobs, due to falling revenue from the more than 50% drop in crude prices since the middle of last year. And earlier Wednesday, smaller Canadian energy player Athabasca Oil Corp. said it had cut costs in all areas, including slashing its head-office workforce by about 50% since the start of 2014.

wsj.com

Tags: TALISMAN, OIL, GAS, PRICES

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