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Pioneer Natural Resources slashes workforce by 25% to save costs

Pioneer Natural Resources Co. said it had laid off about 25% of its workforce as it moves to cut $100 million in costs "to remain competitive with [its] peers," Reuters reported, citing a company statement.

The oil and gas producer cut 300 employees in April and another 230 workers this week at its headquarters in Irving, Texas, and in its Permian Basin offices, Pioneer said in a statement. The company added that it will grant financial packages and job placement services to those who lost their jobs.

"Decisions like these are never easy. In this case they were necessary to both align our cost structure with our business strategy and to create value for our shareholders over the long term," Pioneer said in the statement.

The job reduction confirms an earlier report by CBS7 News that said Pioneer was planning to shed about 300 jobs.

Scott Sheffield, who returned as Pioneer's CEO in February after Timothy Dove's abrupt retirement, said earlier in May that the company has simplified its business structure and will keep its primary focus on returning free cash flow to investors. Sheffield's comment came after Pioneer announced that it was now a Permian Basin-only producer, having divested its assets in the Eagle Ford Shale to Ensign Natural Resources LLC for $475 million.