El Paso Corp. on Tuesday cut around 6%, or 300, of its 5,000-plus workforce as part of its efforts to streamline operations, a spokesman told NGI.

El Paso last week announced that it was cutting its dividend, selling assets and reducing internal costs to fund the launch of nearly $1 billion in natural gas pipeline projects and pay for about $1 billion of exploration and production projects in 2010 (see Daily GPI, Nov. 5).

The layoffs Tuesday were part of the process to reduce costs, said spokesman Richard Wheatley.

“It was not one of the brightest days for El Paso,” he said. “As you know, El Paso is going through a streamlining program, reviewing functioning of all of the areas, and this is the downside of that. Our goal is not just to increase cost savings, but to be more competitive in the future and to maintain our leading industry position.”

Most of the job cuts were domestic “staff and technical” jobs, said Wheatley. He did not have a breakdown on the location of the layoffs; El Paso employs close to 2,000 people in Houston.

“This is a tough time for the people laid off and it’s tough on the people left behind,” he said. Those whose jobs were eliminated were offered severance packages and outsourcing services. No further layoffs are anticipated, he noted.

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