February 20, 2013 / 6:03 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Talisman Energy cuts 7 percent of head office jobs

* Company sees more reductions through the year

* Talisman aims to reduce G&A costs by a fifth

CALGARY, Alberta, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Talisman Energy Inc , Canada’s No. 6 independent oil producer, has cut 90 jobs at its Calgary head office, or 7 percent of employees there, as it strives to cope with depressed North American natural gas prices.

Talisman, which is restructuring operations in an effort to lift a long-languishing stock price, said on Wednesday it still employs 1,500 staff in Canada, including 1,200 in Calgary.

The company signaled early this year that job reductions would be part of efforts to make a 20 percent cut in its C$1.3 billion ($1.3 billion) in annual general and administrative costs.

More reductions are expected as the company exits some unprofitable operating regions, such as Peru, and looks for other ways to reduce expenses around the organization, Talisman spokeswoman Phoebe Buckland said.

“This work continues and will take place over the course of the year,” Buckland said.

Engineers, geologists and administrative staff tied to Canadian operations are among the 90 cuts made on Wednesday, she said.

Last week, Chief Executive Hal Kvisle said the company is also reexamining hiring practices, including reassigning existing staff to higher-priority tasks rather than bringing in new people in some cases.

Like many of its peers, Talisman has ratcheted back spending on dry gas in North America as prices for the fuel have hovered around $3 per million British thermal units, and refocused its hunt on more lucrative liquids-rich prospects such as Eagle Ford in Texas and Duvernay in Alberta.

At the end of last year, Talisman had about 3,700 employees worldwide.

Talisman shares were flat at C$12.70 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday, down 6.6 percent in the past year.

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