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Schlumberger and Subsea 7 propose joint venture

Feb. 23 (UPI) — Working together through a joint venture will bring the best of both worlds to offshore oil and gas services, Schlumberger and Subsea 7 announced Friday.

Schlumberger, the largest company of its kind, and Subsea 7 said there were negotiating a joint venture that would build on a Subsea entity formed in 2015 that coordinates broad offshore development work under one umbrella.

“We are looking forward to strengthening our collaboration with Schlumberger and extending our range of innovative solutions and technologies to drive industry progress,” Subsea 7 CEO Jean Cahuzac said in a joint statement.

Companies catering to the exploration and production, or upstream, side of the industry are still adjusting to the relative low price for oil, which has forced major energy companies to cut costs and improve efficiencies to survive.

Schlumberger last year formed several ventures with its industry partners. Extending a six-year relationship, the company in July acquired a 51 percent stake in Eurasia Drilling Co. Ltd. in a $1.7 billion deal.

EDC holds one of the largest fleets of onshore drilling units globally and described itself as the “premier supplier” of services to the Caspian Sea region, home to some of the larger oil and gas fields in the world.

Citing “difficult” market conditions in the middle of 2016, Subsea 7 cut its labor force by more than 1,200 in an effort to adjust to the new market era of lower oil prices. The company last year announced a contract for offshore Brazil was canceled about six months early, leaving it without a day-rate contract in one of the more vibrant offshore sectors.

For the three months ending Dec. 31, Schlumberger said its revenue of $8.1 billion was up 3 percent from the previous term and 15 percent higher than the same period in 2016.

Subsea 7 releases its fourth quarter results next week.

The proposed joint venture would be split between the two companies.

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