A leading North Sea oil and gas firm has announced plans to shed more than 500 jobs amid the slump triggered by the coronavirus.

EnQuest said it had started consultations with employees about a programme that it expects to result in 530 job cuts.

The company recently announced plans to cuts its running costs by $190 million (£155m) annually as it looked to save cash following the plunge in the oil price triggered by the coronavirus.

It decided not to restart production from two fields that it had shut down last year for remedial work. Two other fields are expected to reach the end of their economic lives later this year.

A spokeswoman for the company said: "EnQuest Plc can confirm it has begun a six-week collective consultation with UK employees as it takes decisive action to manage the business in the current challenging economic environment.

"Given the prevailing low oil price and global demand, the group has reviewed each of its assets and related spending plans.

"This reduction in operational activity will inevitably lead to resource reductions, although EnQuest is seeking to keep this to a minimum.

"EnQuest expects to reduce the number of roles by 530.

"The company expects to have the new organisation established in Q3 2020."

On Monday industry body Oil & Gas UK warned that up to 30,000 jobs could be lost in the wider North Sea supply chain over the next 18 months as firms slash spending in response to the oil price plunge.

Brent crude fell below $20 per barrel last week, for the first time in 18 years.