Energy Business

Schlumberger to Lay Off 9,000, as Crude Prices Fall

Douglas A. McIntyre

The drop in the price of oil will cost 9,000 workers at Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) their jobs.

The company disclosed:

In response to lower commodity pricing and anticipated lower exploration and production spending in 2015, Schlumberger decided to reduce its overall headcount to better align with anticipated activity levels for 2015. Schlumberger recorded a $296 million charge associated with a headcount reduction of approximately 9,000.

Unfortunately for the workers, the oil services company had good reason. Although fourth-quarter revenue rose 6% to $12.5 billion and operating income by 7% to $1.9 billion, the company believes the situation has deteriorated:

The strength of these results demonstrated the resiliency of our business portfolio in the face of activity challenges in 2014 in Brazil, Mexico, and China; reduced spending in deepwater, exploration and seismic activity; unrest in Libya and Iraq; international sanctions in Russia; and the accelerating fall in the price of oil toward the end of the year. The combination of these headwinds reduced revenue growth by more than $1 billion, or 2%, yet revenue still increased 7% as a result of strong tailwinds in Argentina, Ecuador, Sub-Saharan Africa, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and North America that combined with market share gains, drove overall performance.

Unfortunately for the workers, the company will use some of the savings elsewhere, as money will go to dividends, which the company has increased by 25%.

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