Permian Basin oil producer cuts 230 jobs

Natural gas is flared.
Natural gas is flared at the Handy Gas Unit #1, a Pioneer Natural Resources well, in Karnes County, Texas, U.S., on Tuesday, June 22, 2010. Photographer: Eddie Seal/Bloomberg

Irving-based Pioneer Natural Resources, one of the oil producers in the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico, said this week it plans to lay off about 25 percent of its workforce to reduce costs and increase shareholder value.

Pioneer said it would lay off 230 employees at its headquarters and in its Permian Basin offices, in addition to cutting another 300 workers in April, according to media reports.

“Decisions like these are never easy. In this case they were necessary to both align our cost structure with our business strategy and to create value for our shareholders over the long term,” the company said in a statement.

Pioneer reported $350 million in profits in the first quarter, during which it produced 320,000 million barrels of oil-equivalent per a day from the Permian Basin, according to its earnings results.

Even as U.S. oil production soars, investors have been pressuring oil producers to cut spending and use the cash to provide bigger payouts instead of producing more oil.

On May 6,  Product & Logistics Services, a subsidiary of Schlumberger Limited, laid of 124 employees in the Permian Basin area, according to records from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).

 The trucking company said it would be “closing employee-serviced operations out of Monahans, Texas, and surrounding areas.” Monahans has been called “the center of the Permian Basin.”

This article first appeared on the Houston Chronicle – an Energy Voice content partner. For more from the Houston Chronicle click here.