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By William Jones, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Petrobras has announced that it will release 8,298 employees - or 12.4 percent of its staff - as part of a voluntary redundancy program. The initiative will save at least R$13 billion by 2018, the state-controlled oil firm said in a statement.

In that release sent to the São Paulo Stock Exchange, 55 percent of these voluntary layoffs will take effect before the end of the year. As part of the program, Subscribe to our Premium Membership Plan. Already Subscribed?