Continued low commodity prices are forcing Range Resources to close its Houston office, resulting in about 50 layoffs.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based natural gas producer confirmed Tuesday morning that it plans to shutter its Houston operation. There will be no layoffs at the company’s regional headquarters in Southpointe, according to spokesman Mark Windle.

Range laid off about 40 employees between those two locations in June.

Jeff Ventura, Range Resources president and chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement: “Over the last several years, persistent low commodity prices have challenged the energy industry. Range has continuously sought to position itself to successfully navigate a cyclical business environment by reducing debt and controlling costs.

“As part of this effort, we have announced the closure of the Houston office. This was a hard decision to make and one we did not take lightly, but ultimately it was a necessary, prudent action.”

The company said its Houston shale operations will be transferred to its offices in Arcadia, La.

In dealing with low prices, which have beset the industry in recent years, Range said it has completed $1.1 billion in asset sales over the past 12 months, devoting all of that money toward debt reduction. The company said it also reduced expected 2019 capital spending to $736 million, $20 million below budget, and decreased cash unit costs by 7% since the end of 2018.

Business Writer

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won eight individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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