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Image courtesy of Harald Pettersen/Statoil.

Norway’s Statoil announced plans Tuesday to cut up to 1,500 permanent jobs in an effort to improve efficiency.

The company plans to cut between 1,100 to 1,500 permanent employees by the end of 2016.

The Norway-based company said decisions about the cuts will be made in each business area “based on assessments involving leaders and employee representatives and local consultation.”

The assessments will take place in each business area from August to November.

“We regret the need for further reductions, but the improvements are necessary to strengthen Statoil’s competitiveness and secure our future value creation,” Statoil’s COO and executive vice president Anders Opedal said.

Statoil said it will also further reduce its number of consultants by around 525.

The company added that the estimate for workforce reductions reflects the STEP efficiency potential and further corporate improvements over the coming 18 months.

Statoil said the cuts are part of an improvement program and strict capital expenditure prioritization that was initiated in 2013 “to address   industry wide cost and competitiveness challenge, well ahead of the current downturn.”

Since the end of 2013, Statoil has managed to reduce its workforce by 1,340 permanent employees and 995 external consultants.

“We have so far solved the workforce surplus through voluntary measures, and maintain the ambition to conduct the people process over the next 18 months without forced measures,” Statoil’s senior vice president for people and organization Magne Hovden said.