Schlumberger slashes 21,000 jobs amid pandemic oil rout

Schlumberger slashes 21,000 jobs amid pandemic oil rout

Schlumberger is cutting more than 21,000 jobs as the global coronavirus pandemic quashes demand for energy and oil prices are routed.

The company will pay more than $1 billion in severance benefits.

The job cuts announced Friday, about a quarter of its entire workforce, puts the number of people employed by the world’s largest oilfield services company close to where it was at the start of the oil and gas fracking boom that upended global energy markets and put the U.S. on top.

Chesapeake Energy, a pioneer in fracking, sought bankruptcy protection last month.

“This has probably been the most challenging quarter in past decades,” said CEO Olivier Le Peuch.

Crude prices have dropped 33% this year, and natural gas has fallen 17%, as much of the world took shelter from the coronavirus.

Almost all major users of energy have been crippled because of the lockdown.

On Thursday, American Airlines posted a loss of more than $2 billion, and Southwest Airlines said it lost $915 million. That pushed the combined second-quarter loss of the nation’s four biggest airlines to more than $10 billion.

The number of people being screened at U.S. airports is still down more than 70% compared with last year, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

Millions of people are working from home, rather than commuting to work daily. The cruise industry is shut down and factories, big consumers of energy, have been hammered.

But slowing global economic growth had already begun to weigh on the energy sector, and companies carrying a lot of debt had begun to fail.

More than 200 oil producers have filed for bankruptcy protection in the past five years. The global pandemic has intensified the shakeout.

Last month, British oil giant BP Plc. said it would reduce it’s global workforce by 10,000.

On Friday, Schlumberger Ltd. said that second quarter revenue plunged 35% and the company lost $3.43 billion. It expects the vast majority of the severance hit for departing employees will take place during the second half of the year.

The company operates out of Houston and has major offices in London, Paris and The Hague.

The Associated Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP investigate possible drowning at Pigeon Lake: Man and woman found dead on shore

Bodies recovered from Pigeon Lake’s northeastern shores.

134 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday

First day over 100 cases since July 31

330 km walk for charity stopping in Sylvan Lake

Chris Sadleir, 45, is walking from Calgary to Edmonton to raise money for the Lung Association

School curriculum to focus on basics, says LaGrange

Minister Adriana LaGrange, MLA for Red Deer South, said it will ‘unleash student potential’

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

13-year-old charged in death of boy, 10 in Maskwacis

The RCMP Major Crimes Unit have laid a manslaughter charge against a 13-year-old boy from Maskwacis.

‘Caught up in the frenzy:’ Oilers 50/50 draw breaking ticket sale records

Previous record was held by Toronto Raptors fans when a 50/50 raffle reached $2 million

Alberta jury trials to resume next month at offsite locations due to COVID-19

About 12 locations across Alberta may host the trials in halls, hotels and community centres

Alberta school curriculum to focus on basics, keep out political bias: minister

NDP education critic says the kindergarten to Grade 4 changes should have been implemented a year ago

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Canada plans $3.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. in aluminium dispute

The new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement that replaced NAFTA went into force on July 1

Walmart to make face masks mandatory for customers across Canada

Requirement goes into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 12 across Canada

Most Read