November 5, 2013 / 11:34 AM / 5 years ago

REFILE-Canada's Encana to cut 20 pct of workforce, slash dividend

Nov 5 (Reuters) - Encana Corp, Canada’s largest natural gas producer, will cut about 20 percent of its workforce, slash its dividend and invest nearly three-quarters of its 2014 capital spending budget in more lucrative oil and liquid gas assets.

Encana said it would also close its Plano, Texas office and consolidate office locations to Calgary, Alberta and Denver, Colorado, as new CEO Doug Suttles looks to boost profits.

Suttles, a former BP Plc executive who took over Encana in June, is looking for ways to lower the Canadian company’s dependence on natural gas as prices are expected to remain low for years.

He has already cut capital spending, consolidated senior management and decided to reduce the company’s output of low-value dry natural gas.

Encana shares closed at C$18.59 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday. The shares have dropped 19 percent in the past 12 months to Monday’s close compared with a 3.4 percent rise in the exchange’s main energy index.

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