Feb 25 Oilfield services provider Weatherford
International Ltd said it would divest five businesses,
exit another and lay off 6192 employees as it struggles with
weak demand in North America.
The company, which is being probed for violations of the
United Nations oil-for-food program in Iraq, on Tuesday also
reported a wider quarterly net loss.
Weatherford, which had said last month it would cut 7,000
jobs, said on Tuesday cash proceeds from sale of its businesses
would be used to pay down debt.
The Switzerland-based company is the smallest of the four
large oilfield services firms - Schlumberger Ltd,
Halliburton Co and Baker Hughes Inc.
It gets 45 percent of its revenue from North America, where
a drop in natural gas directed drilling has weakened prices of
oilfield services. Its international growth has also been slow.
Weatherford said on Tuesday it expects to divest its
pipeline and specialty services, testing and production
services, drilling fluids, and wellheads businesses by the end
of this year.
Weatherford also said it would exit its early production
facility business and that it expected to spin-off or take
public its land drilling rig business in fourth quarter of 2014
or in the first quarter of 2015.
The company, which had about 70,000 employees at the end of
2012, said it expects its net debt to reduce to $7 billion by
the end of 2014. Its long-term debt was $7.06 billion as of
Net loss attributable to Weatherford widened to $271
million, or 35 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended
Dec.31, from $122 million, or 16 cents per share, a year ago.
Weatherford was asked pay $253 million in fines to the U.S.
government to settle charges that ranged from flouting sanctions
against Iran and Syria to sending business partners on World Cup
Weatherford shares were up nearly 3 percent in trading after
the bell. They closed $15.58 on Tuesday on the New York Stock