Canadian oil producer Suncor Energy is planning to axe 1,500 jobs by the end of this year to cut costs by $297.6m (C$400m), reported Reuters, citing two sources.

The layoff plan was announced in a staff memo and comes as the company looks to strengthen its financial performance while reducing costs.

Suncor Energy CEO Richard Kruger was quoted by CBC News as saying: “Staffing reductions will occur at all levels of the organisation and will be based on both performance and business need. As we do this, we will eliminate work, critically looking at what we do, why we do it, how we do it and the value it adds.

“I assure you that decisions like these, that affect people and their lives, are not easy to make or taken lightly. However, at this time, they are necessary to ensure the ongoing competitiveness of our company.”

At the end of 2022, the oil sands company had 16,558 full and part-time employees.

Suncor was quoted by Reuters as saying: “Suncor is always looking for opportunities to drive value and improve performance in our business, cost reduction is one of those opportunities.”

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In March 2023, the company reported a profit of $2.05bn in the first quarter of 2023, a reduction from $2.949bn in the prior year quarter.

On an adjusted basis, the company’s operating earnings for Q1 stood at $1.81bn, a 34% drop year-over-year. This was due to increased operating expenses and decreased crude oil realisations, among others.

In April, Suncor agreed to acquire TotalEnergies’ oil sands assets in Canada for $4.1bn with potential additional payments of up to $450m.