By Casey Junkins | January 26, 2016 |The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register
WHEELING - Despite a slump in natural gas prices, officials with the U.S. Energy Information Administration expect a rebound over the next two years due to higher industrial use and exports.
In the interim, however, many drillers continue reducing operations, including Southwestern Energy Co. The Houston, Texas-based firm that acquired West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania assets of Chesapeake Energy for $5 billion in 2014 is cutting 1,100 employees - about
40 percent of its workforce - in an effort to save $175 million per year.
"Natural gas prices have continued to decline over the past year, creating conditions where cash flow to fund projects will be significantly lower that it has been the past few years. This has led to a need to reduce the company's overall workforce. These organizational changes are required to maintain competitiveness in this low gas price environment," Southwestern spokeswoman Christina Fowler said, adding about 100 of the affected employees worked in West Virginia or Pennsylvania.