Schlumberger Firing 9,000 to Reduce Head Count, “Low Oil Prices”

Wow…is about all we can say. Yesterday Schlumberger (pronounced Shlum-Bur-Zhay), the world’s (and the U.S.’s) largest oilfield services company, issued its fourth quarter 2014 and full-year 2014 operating results. Although revenues in 4Q14 rose 6.2 percent to $12.6 billion, earnings, what they pay investors, decreased by 82%–to $302 million for the quarter, largely because of “one-time charges.” The radical drop in oil prices has deeply affected Schlumberger. However, it wasn’t their financial results but this short mention in yesterday’s update that caught everyone’s attention: “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.” Ouch. It makes Doug “the ax” Lawler over at Chesapeake look like a junior achiever by comparison. Schlumberger employs about 120,000 worldwide, so 9,000 represents 7.5% of their workforce. Gone…

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