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Schlumberger CEO Sees `Full-Scale Cash Crisis' in Oil Sector

Schlumberger Ltd. cut another 2,000 jobs in the first quarter as the world’s largest provider of oilfield services sees the industry in an unprecedented downturn.

The global headcount dropped to 93,000 at the end of the first quarter with the reduction, Joao Felix, a spokesman for the company, said by e-mail. More than a quarter of Schlumberger’s workforce, or roughly 36,000, has now been cleaved off since the worst crude-market crash in a generation began in late 2014.

“The decline in global activity and the rate of activity disruption reached unprecedented levels as the industry displayed clear signs of operating in a full-scale cash crisis,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Paal Kibsgaard said in a statement announcing first-quarter earnings Thursday. "This environment is expected to continue deteriorating over the coming quarter given the magnitude and erratic nature of the disruptions in activity."

Oilfield service providers were the first to feel the pain when crude prices began falling in the middle of 2014. Of the more than 250,000 jobs cut globally in the energy industry during the downturn, service providers continue to be the most heavily impacted after customers slashed more than $100 billion in spending last year, with promises of more cuts to come.

Tight Margins

Schlumberger’s...


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