Chesapeake Energy said today it will cut 70 employees in the Barnett Shale, or about 8 percent of its workforce in the field, as the natural gas producer reduces its activity here. It said it will employ about 700 in the Barnett field after those cuts are made. It has said previously that its peak employment was about 1,200.
In a prepared release, the Oklahoma City-based company, which has large offices in Fort Worth and Cleburne, said positions are being eliminated “in support departments such as public affairs, marketing communications, community relations, legal, land, land administration, administrative services and information technology. These are the departments most directly impacted by reduced leasing and drilling activity.” Chesapeake, the second-largest producer in the Barnett Shale, on May 2 said it would operate just two drilling rigs in the Barnett Shale, down from a peak of 44 in 2008 and 12 at the start of 2012. At the same time, it said it slashed the number of independent land agents it used for leasing from about 350 to 139.
“Chesapeake will continue to have a significant presence in the Barnett Shale,” said Julie Wilson, vice president of urban development. She said affected workers “will receive generous severance packages” and outplacement assistance.
-- Jim Fuquay