French oil major Total is planning to cut its investment programme by around 20% and freeze recruitment in response to the oil price crunch, according to a news report.
Reuters reports that chief executive Patrick Pouyanne told staff via a video message that it would begin a recruitment freeze and increase cost savings, while halting its share buyback programme.
The news agency, citing a union official, said the energy giant will look to make around $400million (£340.2m) in savings this year, cutting investments in all programmes by about 20%.
It is unclear how the proposals may affect the North Sea business, operated out of a regional headquarters in Westhill.
A Total spokesman declined to comment.
A series of firms are now reviewing spending in light of the oil price drop, which this week saw the Brent Crude benchmark reach its lowest level since 2003.