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Schlumberger says non-Opec producers keeping "taps wide" open

[LONDON] Oil output in North America and outside of Opec is resilient because oil companies, looking to maximize cash flow, are keeping "taps wide open," Schlumberger Ltd CEO Paal Kibsgaard said on a conference call on Friday.

A supply glut, combined with weakening demand, especially in China, has sent oil markets into a tailspin. Global oil prices have slumped nearly 73 per cent since June 2014.

"We still expect positive movement in oil prices during 2016 with specific timing being a function of the shape of the non-Opec decline rates," Kibsgaard said.

The comments came a day after Schlumberger reported a slightly better-than-expected profit, helped by cut costs - mostly through 10,000 job cuts - and the company unveiled a US$10 billion share buyback program.

The company has cut 34,000 jobs, or 26 per cent of its workforce, since November 2014.

Executives speaking on the call said they were "optimistic"the company had completed the workforce reductions needed in the downturn.