Devon Energy will close its field office in Lafayette in September as the company continues to sell off its properties in the Gulf of Mexico.
The move is part of a company-wide repositioning strategy and not a result of the BP oil spill, said Devon Energy spokesman Chip Minty.
Devon Energy announced in November that it would divest itself of its Gulf and international assets and focus instead on onshore oil and gas plays in the U.S. and Canada.
The Lafayette office, located in Park Tower on East Kaliste Saloom Road, served as the hub of Devon’s offshore operations.
Its closing affects 147 employees, Minty said. Of those, 82 have gone to Apache Corp., which purchased Devon’s shelf assets in the Gulf of Mexico, and two have been hired by BP, which bought out’s Devon’s deepwater Gulf assets.
Devon Energy still has 11 employees in Lafayette. They will remain with the company until the office closes in September.
Devon Energy maintains an extensive portfolio of oil and gas properties in North America, Minty said, including positions in five shale plays in the U.S. and Canada.
The company holds 570,000 acres in the Haynesville Shale in Northwest Louisiana and East Texas, and also operates a field office in Ruston.
According to Devon’s annual Louisiana fact sheet, Devon Energy had 164 employees in Louisiana in 2009 and an in-state payroll of $16 million.
The Oklahoma City-based company is the largest independent oil and gas company in the United States, with about 5,500 employees.
There is growing concern that the BP spill and subsequent deepsea drilling ban will cause massive job losses within Lafayette’s oil and gas industry, but those fears haven’t yet materialized, according to local unemployment claims.
Also, the Louisiana Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act requires employers to give 60 days notice in advance of any plant closings or mass layoffs, and Devon Energy is the only Lafayette-area company to file a WARN notice so far in 2010, according to the Louisiana Workforce Commission.