June 19, 2012 / 5:25 PM / in 6 years

Chesapeake Energy trimming North Texas workforce

(Reuters) - Chesapeake Energy Corp (CHK.N) said on Tuesday it is eliminating about 70 jobs from its North Texas operations as the U.S. oil and gas producer seeks to fill a large funding gap.

The cuts, primarily in areas such as public affairs and community relations, represent 8 percent of its workforce in the prolific Barnett Shale field, the company said in a statement.

About 700 employees will remain in North Texas after the cuts, and the company will entertain offers on its Fort Worth office tower that it bought for $100 million in 2008, company spokeswoman Julie Wilson said in a statement.

Chesapeake faces a $4 billion to $5 billion shortfall this year, a hole caused by very low natural gas prices and heavy spending.

The Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, company has pledged to sell up $11.5 billion in assets this year to help fill that financial gap. Chesapeake’s biggest investors have also urged the company to cut spending.

    Shares of Chesapeake rose nearly 6 percent to $18.70 on news of the job cuts. (Reporting by Anna Driver; editing by Andre Grenon and Bob Burgdorfer)

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