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Schlumberger Shuts Down Libyan Operations

Source: Reuters 2/23/2011, Location: Africa

Schlumberger Ltd, the world's largest oilfield services company, is shutting down operations in Libya and moving staff out in response to what Chief Executive Andrew Gould called a "disturbing" situation.

Libya, accounting for 1 percent of Schlumberger's overall revenue, is going through a violent revolt that has disrupted much of the oil industry in the country.

The revolt follows popular protests in neighboring Egypt and Tunisia, two countries where Gould said on Tuesday that Schlumberger's operations were now restarting.

"The current situation in Libya is disturbing, our operations are shut down, and at the current time, all our efforts are concentrated on trying to repatriate our employees," Gould said at a meeting with analysts near Boston. "We are actively monitoring the situation across the region."

Schlumberger shares fell 3.8 percent, before recovering to trade down 2.2 percent at $92.91 on the day, in line with the Philadelphia Stock Exchange oil service index.

Gould, whose views of the oil business are closely tracked because of Schlumberger's global presence, is attending his last analyst meeting before handing over the reins to Chief Operating Officer Paal Kibsgaard by the end of this year. Gould has been CEO of the company since February 2003.

Kibsgaard will address the analysts on the second day of the meeting on Wednesday.

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