Exxon Mobil will relocate the bulk of XTO Energy’s Fort Worth operation to a campus near Houston, costing the city 1,600 jobs and leaving a number of downtown buildings for sale.

The oil and gas producer, acquired by Exxon in 2010, said that 1,200 employees will be moved to Houston in 2018 with another 400 transferring in 2020.

XTO will keep about 350 employees in Fort Worth.

The company plans to sell six of the seven buildings it owns in Fort Worth in a phased marketing approach, a company spokeswoman said.

Irving-based Exxon Mobil has invested in a state-of-the-art campus in Houston that contains its other businesses, and the company is seeing benefits from having all of them in one location.

XTO is one of the largest landowners in downtown Fort Worth. It owns six properties totaling more than 700,000 square feet of office space.

Exxon hopes that most of XTO’s employees will make the move to Houston “because they have an expertise that the company values,” a company spokesman said.

In recent years, Exxon has increased its profile in domestic shale drilling, something that XTO pioneered first in the Barnett Shale and then elsewhere.

image: The Business Journals