UPDATE 1-Devon Energy shuttering Houston office

Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:40am EDT

Oct 11 (Reuters) - U.S. oil and gas company Devon Energy Corp said on Thursday it plans to close its 500-person office in Houston in a move that is expected to save $80 million a year.

Some employees will be relocated to the company's Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, headquarters, but it is too early in the process to determine how many transfers will take place, said Chip Minty, a spokesman for Devon.

"Consolidating our U.S. operations will improve our ability to quickly shift the focus of our workforce between project areas as economic conditions dictate," Dave Hager, Devon`s executive vice president of exploration and production, said in a statement.

Devon's workers in Houston oversee the company's operations in South Texas, East Texas and Louisiana.

The reorganization, which is expected to be complete by the end of the first quarter next year, will result in a charge of about $125 million. About $100 million of the charge will be recognized in the fourth quarter, Devon said.

Devon's presence in Houston has shrunk over the years. In May 2010, a number of jobs were eliminated following the sale of the company's offshore operations to BP Plc and Apache Corp.

Devon had 5,200 workers at the end of 2011, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Shares of Devon climbed $1.40, or 2.3. percent, to $61.88 in late morning New York Stock Exchange trading.

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