Talisman cuts 220 jobs

Talisman Energy is laying off 220 people, most of them in technical and support positions in Calgary.
Talisman Energy, based in Calgary, is shifting its focus to shale gas. (Talisman Energy)

Talisman Energy is laying off 220 people, most of them in technical and support positions in Calgary.

The layoffs represent about 13 per cent of the company's North American workforce.

"It is a tough day for the company. Talisman prides itself on having some of the best and brightest in the industry. It's always sad to see people go," said Phoebe Buckland, a spokeswoman for Talisman Energy on Wednesday.

"However, Talisman business is changing. We're accelerating our strategy towards being a major shale gas producer in North America. As a result of that we needed to look at the business and find the right skills and the right people to support the shale side and the conventional side moving forward."

In November, Talisman announced it was reorganizing its North American operations into two divisions — for conventional oil and gas, and for shale gas, which has become a viable field because of new extraction technology.

At the time, the Calgary-based company said it was investing $570 million US on shale gas development in the northeastern United States. Talisman's third-quarter profit plummeted by 98 per cent, to $30 million Cdn, mainly on lower prices for oil and gas. Last year in the same period, the company earned $1.4 billion.