Ex-Syncrude partner Murphy Oil closing Calgary office to cut costs

Ex-Syncrude partner Murphy Oil closing Calgary office to cut costs

CALGARY — American oil and gas producer Murphy Oil Corp. says it is shutting its Calgary office as part of a plan to cut costs as oil prices remain at low ebb.

The company says it will transfer functions of the Calgary office, which employs about 110 people, and its El Dorado, Ark., head office, with 80, to its existing office in Houston.

The move comes about four years after Murphy agreed to sell its five per cent stake in the Syncrude oilsands mining and upgrading consortium in northern Alberta to Suncor Energy Inc.

The company is a minority partner in the Hibernia and Terra Nova offshore oil projects on the East Coast and produces oil and gas from conventional wells in Alberta and B.C.

Murphy says the office closures are to be completed early in the third quarter of this year and won’t impact field operations in the U.S. and Canada.

The decision came after the company said it made other cuts, including halving capital expenditures, lowering the company’s dividend and reducing executive salaries.

“This decision is one we take with sadness, but with the understanding that our only path forward is to consolidate into one office in Houston,” said CEO Roger Jenkins in a statement.

“The company recognizes the hardship this decision causes to many in El Dorado and Calgary, and we are committed to treating all those impacted consistent with past practices and plan to offer appropriate severance arrangements.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 7, 2020.

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