The acquisition would create an oilfield equipment and service powerhouse, but it's also likely to mean further layoffs.
"This is just another reflection of the anticipated and being currently experienced decline in oil prices," says Craig Pirrong, professor of finance at the University of Houston's Bauer College of Business. "There is overcapacity in the industry because future drilling activity is expected to be lower. And so one of the purposes of the merger is to eliminate some of that excess capacity, and unfortunately job losses are part of that."
Schlumberger says it expects to save roughly $900 million in the first two years after it acquires Cameron. The two companies put the acquisition's total value at $14.8 billion.
Both companies' boards unanimously approved the acquisition, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016. It still needs approval from Cameron's shareholders.
Schlumberger has principal offices in Paris, Houston, London, and the Hague.