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Oklahoma-based Devon Energy Corp. says it will close its office in Houston and transfer operations to Oklahoma City.

The oil and gas company has about 500 employees in its Houston office, which now serves as the operations center for Devon’s oil and natural gas fields in south and east Texas and Louisiana. Devon says the closure of the Houston office will save the company about $80 million annually.

Dave Hager, the executive vice president of exploration and production for Devon, says consolidating the offices will make it easier for the company to shift workers between project areas as economic conditions dictate.

The company says that Houston-based workers in technical positions — like geoscientists and petroleum engineers — are most likely to be transferred to Oklahoma City.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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