Natural gas company

El Paso

(EP)

said Senior Vice President and Treasurer Charles Dana Rice is dead following an apparent suicide.

According to a

Reuters

report, Rice died on Sunday. This is the second time in recent months that an executive from an embattled energy company has taken his own life. In January, a former vice chairman of

Enron

, Clifford Baxter, was found dead in a car after he killed himself.

Just last week, El Paso said it planned to cut half of its trading staff and concentrate on its old business of selling gas. The move reflects a growing lack of tolerance in the capital markets for the extreme volatility of energy trading and is, to some degree, a blueprint for other companies trying to extricate themselves from a sometimes brutal line of business.

Along with the layoffs, the company was also forced to lower earnings guidance for the second time this year.