As Oil Rout Hits Services Demand, Schlumberger Reports Third Straight Quarterly Loss

Shariq Khan

October 16, 2020

©Art Konovalov / Adobe Stock

©Art Konovalov / Adobe Stock

Top oilfield services provider Schlumberger NV on Friday posted its third straight quarterly loss as this year’s prolonged slump in oil prices due to the COVID-19 pandemic compelled its major energy customers to shun drilling.

The company kicked off earnings from hard-hit U.S. oilfield service providers and come as the reintroduction of lockdowns in some parts of the world due to a resurgence in infections threaten a recovery in oil demand.

North America has fared much worse than international services markets, with Schlumberger’s revenue from the region falling to $1.16 billion, from $2.85 billion a year earlier.

Total revenue plunged 38% to $5.26 billion.

Last month, Schlumberger agreed to sell its North American shale fracking business as Chief Executive Officer Olivier Le Peuch bets on asset sales, salary cuts, and job reductions to weather the stubbornly low oil prices.

The company recorded charges of $310 million in the third quarter, adding to the over $12 billion it took in the previous two quarters.

Schlumberger reported a net loss of $82 million, or 6 cents per share, for the third quarter ended Sept. 30. Excluding charges and credits, it earned 16 cents per share in the quarter, helped by aggressive cost cuts.

The company reported a net loss of $11.38 billion, or $8.22 per share, a year earlier, due to impairment charges on some of the company’s past investments. 

(Reporting by Shariq Khan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)