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Russian Oil Giant Rosneft to Shed a Quarter of Staff, Report Says

Russia's Rosneft could fire as many as 25 percent of the people working at the company.

State-owned oil giant Rosneft could fire as many as 1,000 employees, or 25 percent of the people working at the company, in an ongoing economy drive, a news report said Thursday.

The criteria for the layoffs are currently being worked out and firings could begin as soon as October, business daily Kommersant reported, citing unidentified sources at Rosneft.

The world's largest publicly traded oil company, Rosneft has been affected by recent Western sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis, with chief executive Igor Sechin's assets frozen by the United States and potential deals reportedly being shelved amid tensions.

There are fears that sanctions will hit Rosneft's ability to maintain production levels in the long term and implement long-term development plans, including drilling in the Arctic.

Rosneft's ranks have swelled in recent years under chief executives Eduard Khudainatov and, since 2012, Sechin and were again enlarged last year when the company spent $55 billion on the takeover of TNK-BP, a joint venture between the British major and a group of Soviet-born billionaires.

Last month Sechin wrote to the government to request that the country's national welfare fund spend 1.5 trillion rubles ($40 billion) to buy Rosneft's debt.

In the face of declining output from mature Siberian fields, Rosneft's production in August dropped to its lowest level since March 2013, monitoring agency CDU TEK said earlier this week, Bloomberg reported.

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