Schlumberger to Reduce Venezuela Operations

Oilfield services provider Schlumberger Ltd said it would reduce its operations in Venezuela as it received insufficient payments from customers in the recent quarters.

The company said the reduction will take place through this month, allowing for a safe wind-down of operations for customers without any cash flow.

A slew of major U.S. corporations are expected to take big writedowns for their Venezuela operations due to increased government regulations and a lack of access to dollars. A 60-day economic emergency declared in mid-January added to their woes.

Schlumberger, which in March forecast a 15 percent drop in first-quarter revenue from the fourth, reaffirmed the $6.5 billion forecast on Tuesday.

The company, which took a $49 million loss last year due to the currency devaluation in Venezuela and another $472 million in 2014, said it remained "fully committed" to supporting the Venezuelan exploration and production industry but was unable to increase its accounts receivable balances.

Houston-based Schlumberger's shares were up 2.3 percent at $75.55 in extended trading. (Reporting by Manish Parashar in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)