Brazilian petroleum giant Petrobras said Thursday it will cut 30 percent of its senior executives as part of a restructuring plan aimed at saving $450 million a year.
The flagship state-owned company has been in deep trouble since 2014, with plunging oil prices, depreciation of the Brazilian real against the US dollar, and a huge corruption scandal.
Petrobras CEO Aldemir Bendine told reporters that the company had to adapt not only to the new realities facing the industry but to "irregularities" within the company that contributed to its crisis.
Bendine, who has headed the company since last year, said Petrobras was working to tighten its governance, eliminate "political nominations" and achieve a "meritocracy."
He said the staff reductions would involve both dismissals and attrition, but should not affect production. Deep-water offshore operations would remain a priority.
Bendine said the company was completing work on a "profoundly" changed business plan that would prepare it for crude-oil prices as low as $20.15 per barrel.
Oil prices have dropped from $100 per barrel 18 months ago to $33 today.
Petrobras recently slashed the investments it plans through 2019 by $32 billion, or 24.5 percent, and lowered its 2016 production targets from 2.18 million barrels a day to 2.14 million barrels.
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