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Cabot Closes Office, Lays Off 15

Cabot Closes Office, Lays Off 15

Cabot Oil & Gas announced it will close its Pittsburgh office Aug. 31 as part of a "strategic repositioning" that included the sale of non-core Appalachian properties to Enervest Management Co. for $46.2 million last September. About 15 jobs will be eliminated as a result of the action. The remaining positions will be transferred to existing offices in Charleston, WV, and Houston.

"Since 1997, Cabot Oil & Gas has sold over 200 Bcfe of reserves in Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia. The Appalachian drilling effort will now be centered around our large acreage position in southern West Virginia and to a lesser extent in southwestern Pennsylvania," said CEO Ray Seegmiller. "We are not exiting Appalachia. We are simply reducing operating expenses.

"In this competitive marketplace we continue to look for ways to improve our margins. We anticipate over $1 million in annual savings from this consolidation. However, Cabot will realize a one-time charge totaling about $1 million for severance and relocation costs split between the second and third quarters of 2000."

The closing resulted in the resignations of two officers, James M. Trimble, senior vice president and John B. Lawman, vice president and regional manager.

In total, Cabot sold 59.5 Bcfe of proved reserves in the Appalachian region last year. The largest package divested was the Clarksburg properties, located in northern West Virginia, which accounted for a total of 791 wells, producing a net 8.7 MMcfe/d. These reserves were not contiguous to Cabot's Cranberry pipeline system, and high quality drilling opportunities were limited, the company said at the time.

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