BRASILIA, March 17 (Reuters) - Brazil's state-run oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA plans to cut 15 percent of its staff through a voluntary layoff program to be announced by mid-year, newspaper o Estado de S.Paulo reported on Thursday.
Petrobras, at the epicenter of a massive corruption investigation shaking Brazil's politics, expects to lay off up to 12,000 workers with the program as part of efforts to reduce costs, the report said, citing sources familiar with the company's plans.
The sources expect the voluntary layoff program to be announced along with the company's business plan for 2016-2020. Earlier this month, two sources told Reuters Petrobras would cut capital spending by one-fifth in the period.
Petrobras' representatives were not immediately available to comment on the Estado report.
The investment and job cuts underline a dramatic downturn in Petrobras' prospects since it discovered some of the largest-ever offshore oil resources a decade ago.
A widespread price-fixing and political kickback scandal has driven up costs, delayed projects and shattered the company's relationship with investors who are already worried about weak oil prices. (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Bernadette Baum)