Houston-based Apache Corp. said Wednesday it is reducing its global workforce to "reflect current activity levels."

"Because lower commodity prices mean lower cash flow and capital budgets, we have reduced our employee ranks...," Apache's Bill Mintz, director of public affairs, told NGI. "These actions will reduce Apache's worldwide employee count by 6% since the first of the year." About 200 positions are affected, he said.

The planned reductions "will be substantially completed this week," Mintz said.

Mintz could not provide details on what types of employees are being laid off nor could he say where the reductions are taking place.

Apache operates across North America, both onshore and offshore. The central region operations span East Texas, the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico and the Anadarko Basin in western Oklahoma. At year-end 2008 the central region accounted for about a quarter of Apache's estimated proved reserves -- the largest concentration in the company.

Apache's Gulf Coast operations are both onshore and offshore Louisiana and Texas. In the Gulf of Mexico, in waters that are less than 1,200 feet deep, Apache is the largest producer and since 2004 has been the largest held-by-production acreage holder. Last year the Gulf Coast region contributed about a quarter (22%) of Apache's production and 25% of its revenues. At the end of 2008 the region held about 14% of Apache's estimated proved reserves.

Apache's Canadian operations include an estimated 523 MMboe in proved reserves on around 6.5 million acres (gross). At the end of 2008 Canadian gas production totaled around 353 MMcf/d. Exploration and development activities are ongoing in Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. In British Columbia Apache has a growing stake in the emerging Horn River Basin, where it is partnering with EnCana Corp. to produce shale gas (see related story).

First quarter earnings are scheduled to be released on April 30.

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