Schlumberger, the world’s largest oil services group, is cutting back its fleet for offshore geological surveys and taking an $800m writedown on the value of its ships, in the first significant cutback in the industry following the recent fall in crude prices. It is also taking a $200m charge in the fourth quarter for the planned job cuts.
WesternGeco, Schlumberger’s UK-based marine seismic business, will cut its fleet from 23 vessels at the end of last year to 15 at the end of 2014, through retiring some of the older and higher-cost boats and converting others.
Schlumberger shares have fallen 21 per cent in the last few months.
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