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100 layoffs at Pioneer

TRINIDAD — Citing a continued drop in natural gas prices worldwide and the recent collapse of crude oil prices, Pioneer Natural Resources Co. has announced 100 layoffs at its Trinidad field office.

The company also will shutter its Denver office.

The local layoffs are nearly half of the existing workforce at the Trinidad facility.

The Las Animas County commissioners expressed concern about the loss of jobs at their Tuesday meeting.

“The commissioners said they feel really awful for the employees and their families first and foremost and, secondly, for the community,” said Las Animas County Administrator Leeann Fabec.

“Pioneer has always been a really good community partner with the county . . . And we are really sorry that they are going through this at this time and have to lay off this number of staff and reduce their operations.”

The company said in a statement that it will offer severance packages and access to out-placement services to those Trinidad employees leaving Pioneer.

In related news, Pioneer to close Denver office.

“Decisions to rightsize our workforce are never easy, as we know they impact good people and the communities in which they live,” said Tim Dove, president and CEO of Pioneer.

“These employees have worked hard for Pioneer, and we place a great deal of value on their efforts. These decisions are an unfortunate reality of the price environment that we face today.”

The company’s assets in the Raton Basin of Colorado and in the West Panhandle field of Texas now will be managed from Pioneer’s headquarters in Dallas.

Fabec said the county already was expecting a decrease in property tax valuation in 2016.

“This is going to flow over into 2016 and 2017. The county is going to be substantially impacted financially by this,” Fabec said.

“We are always working hand to hand with the city of Trinidad to try and bring in new industries and new businesses to the community. That is an ongoing process for us.”

This article was written by ANTHONY A. MESTAS from The Pueblo Chieftain, Colo. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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