UPDATE 1-TAQA's Canada unit reorganizes, lays off 5 pct of staff

Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:58pm EST

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* Lays off 50 of 950 employees

* Says staff cuts come as it revamps operating structure

CALGARY, Alberta Jan 28 (Reuters) - The Canadian unit of Abu Dhabi National Energy Co said on Monday it has laid off 50 of its 950 employees as it restructures its operations in the country.

TAQA North, which produces nearly 90,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from oil and gas fields in Western Canada, said the layoffs were a result of it consolidating operations and were not in response to low Canadian oil prices.

Canadian crude prices are currently about $32 per barrel lower than West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, cutting into the profits of the country's oil producers.

TAQA North is the second Canadian oil company to announce job cuts in less than a week. Talisman Energy Inc said last week it is cutting an unspecified number of jobs as it tries to reduce its C$1.3 billion ($1.29 billion) in overhead and staff costs by a fifth.

Leroy McKinnon, a spokesman for TAQA North, said the company is streamlining its operations into a single structure that will oversee all its business units instead of being organized on a regional basis.

"We had a north asset, a south asset and a central asset," he said. "Our leadership wanted go to more of a functional structure."

Employees were informed of the layoffs last week.

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