EXCLUSIVE Schlumberger adjusts operations planning as U.S. COVID-19 cases soar

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The exterior of a Schlumberger Corporation building is pictured in West Houston January 16, 2015. REUTERS/Richard Carson/File Photo

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Jan 7 (Reuters) - Schlumberger (SLB.N), the world's largest oilfield services company, is adjusting operations planning as COVID-19 infections have soared among its U.S. workforce, the company said on Friday.

Schlumberger has had around 14 employees per day test positive for the virus this month, compared to roughly two per day in November, according to an internal document viewed by Reuters. It has about 14,000 U.S. employees.

"We are currently experiencing a rapid increase in confirmed cases," said spokeswoman Moira Duff. "As with many other business sectors, this requires us to adjust our operations planning to ensure the health and wellbeing of our employees and customers as we remain committed to fulfilling our service delivery standards safely."

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The company did not give details of how it was adjusting operations planning. Its U.S. workforce has suffered 13 Covid-19 related deaths since the pandemic began. All were unvaccinated and many "succumbed to the virus in the early phases of the pandemic," the spokeswoman said.

The United States is grappling with rapid transmission of the Omicron variant. There were nearly 1 million new cases reported in a single day this week, forcing some companies to cut work hours and schools to delay the start of in-person classes.

A 31-year-old Oklahoma man who died in December was a recent Schlumberger casualty, according to a health and safety report distributed to employees.

Schlumberger encourages but does not mandate vaccinations for its employees. About 66% of its workforce has voluntarily disclosed their vaccination status. It declined to say the percentage of workers who are vaccinated.

To deal with the Omicron surge, Schlumberger said it has focused on cluster case management procedures, indoor air quality standards, booster campaigns, and business continuity support as cases spike.

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Reporting by Liz Hampton in Denver; Editing by David Gregorio

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