Schlumberger axes seismic fleet and workforce

Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield services provider, has announced job cuts and reduction in its WesternGeco marine seismic fleet to lower its operating costs. 

Schlumberger intends to retire older vessels with lower towing capacity and higher operating costs and convert the remaining lower-end vessels to source boats. Furthermore, the company says it will cancel most of its third-party charters. This will reduce its fleet size to 9 survey and 6 source vessels by the end of 2014, from a total of 15 survey and 8 source boats at the end of 2013.

As a result, Schlumberger expects to record a pretax impairment charge of approximately $800 million in the fourth quarter of 2014, primarily relating to the six Explorer-class vessels acquired at a premium in the 2007 purchase of Eastern Echo Holdings Plc. as well as to certain other seismic assets.

The company also reported that it is reducing overall headcount and that taking this step will enable it to enter 2015 with the right size to match the activity. Schlumberger adds that these reductions are ongoing and will result in a pretax charge in the fourth quarter currently estimated at $200 million.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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