Oilfield services firm Schlumberger has booked $8.5bn in goodwill impairments in the first quarter, as customers accelerated spending cuts during the continuing slump in oil markets.

Due to this, the company reported a first-quarter net loss of $7.38bn, which is equivalent to $5.32 a share, compared with a profit of $421m ($0.30 a share) last year.

Schlumberger anticipates overall global spending to drop roughly 20% this year, with a 40% drop in North America, which has the largest share of the reduction among the total spending.

In North America, the company’s revenue was $2.3bn, a 7% decline from the last quarter.

Schlumberger CEO Olivier Le Peuch said: “First-quarter revenue of $7.5bn declined 9% sequentially and 5% year-on-year as the unprecedented global health and economic crisis sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic increasingly impacted industry activity during the quarter.

“The effect of this was amplified late in the quarter by a new battle for market share between the world’s largest oil producers.

“The sequential international revenue decline was led by lower winter activity in the Europe/CIS/Africa area, particularly in the Russia & Central Asia and the United Kingdom & Continental Europe GeoMarkets.”

According to Reuters, oil and gas majors such as Exxon Mobil cut spending at least 30% and suspended some drilling activities due to decline in oil prices.

In February this year, Schlumberger announced a new manufacturing centre in the King Salman Energy Park (SPARK) in Saudi Arabia.