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Oil giant Schlumberger cuts jobs

business Updated: Jan 10, 2009 17:18 IST

Oil services giant Schlumberger is cutting about five per cent of its North American work force in response to a global slowdown in oil and gas drilling, spurred by weak energy prices.

The cuts, which started Wednesday, will eliminate up to 1,000 administrative, operations and contractor jobs from the company's 19,000 strong work force in North America, company spokesman Stephen Harris said, adding that hundred jobs will be cut among its 5,000 employees in the Houston area alone. Schlumberger, the largest oil field services provider has headquarters in Paris and Houston.

It is laying off employees in response to "the reduced level of activity within the oil field services sector" and is not ruling out additional cuts if the market does not improve, Harris said.

With the recent major drop in oil prices, petroleum and gas companies have been scrapping exploration and production projects. This has a big impact on firms like Schlumberger, which provides a wide array of services, from drilling to equipment sales.

Schlumberger's stock price fell 6.2 per cent after this announcement was made on New York Stock Exchange. However, the company's spokesperson said in a statement, "We will continue to review and update our position as market needs to develop."