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Schlumberger reveals 10,000 recent job losses amid oil price slump

Oil rig Image copyright AFP

Oilfield services giant Schlumberger has cut 10,000 jobs in the past three months amid the plunge in oil prices.

News of the near-10% jobs cull came as the firm unveiled a net loss for the last three months of $1bn - its first quarterly loss in 12 years.

Revenues fell 39% to $7.74bn, with chief executive Paal Kibsgaard warning that there was "no signs" of an oil price recovery on the horizon.

Schlumberger also announced a $10bn share buy-back programme.

This news pushed the US company's shares 4% higher in after-hours trading. The stock price fell almost 20% is 2015 as investor worried that customers were cancelling projects as the oil price tumbled.

The profit figures were better than many analysts had expected, helped by heavy cuts to offset the slump in oil prices.

The latest job cuts added to the 20,000 redundancies the company had already announced earlier in 2015.

Mr Kibsgaard warned that there were "no signs of pricing recovery in the short to medium term."

'Abrupt cancellations'

"Negative market sentiments intensified in the fourth quarter, with oil over-production continuing and extending the bearish trend in global inventories," the company said in its report.

The dramatic fall in prices "prompted customers to make further cuts to already significantly lower investment levels," Schlumberger said, pointing to "unscheduled and abrupt activity cancellations."

Oil prices have dipped below $28 a barrel in a drawn-out slump since mid-2014.

Many analysts have slashed their 2016 oil price forecasts, with Morgan Stanley analysts saying that "oil in the $20s is possible."

Economists at the Royal Bank of Scotland say that oil could fall to $16, while Standard Chartered predicts that prices could hit just $10 a barrel.

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