Talisman to cut costs, jobs as it hones operations

Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:49am EST
 
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CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Talisman Energy Inc TLM.TO will cut jobs to reduce general and administrative costs by a fifth while making good on plans to exit less-profitable operations around the world, company executives said.

Talisman, whose new chief executive has served notice that the company will hone operations and spend much less on high-risk exploration, intends to cut annual G&A costs of C$1.3 billion ($1.3 billion) this year, they said Thursday. More details are expected within weeks.

"It's, I think, probably at least 20 percent overall, and that's a combination of both people and indirect costs," Helen Wesley, vice president of corporate services, told investors at a conference in Whistler, British Columbia.

Wesley and Richard Herbert, vice president of exploration, did not say how many positions will be cut as Talisman exits such countries as Peru and Poland.

Hal Kvisle, who signed on as CEO last year, has said the company is "battening down the hatches" as it reduces capital spending and concentrates on increasing cash flow from lower-risk operations, such as oil-rich shale plays in North America.

The moves are aimed at raising a share price that has lagged most of its Canadian energy peers. The stock has been under pressure due to a combination of depressed natural gas prices and criticism among investors that it was spread across too many countries.

"We have been working on an exercise that will get us to a place in a couple of weeks here where we've got a clear line of sight to a pretty significant reduction in G&A that then will transpire through the rest of 2013," Wesley said.

In October, Talisman had about 3,700 employees.

The stock was down 3 Canadian cents at C$12.17 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, about flat with the price of a year ago.

($1=$1 Canadian)

(Reporting by Jeffrey Jones; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)