Schlumberger ( SLB) reported first-quarter net income of $938.5 million, or 78 cents a share, as revenue dipped slightly to $6 billion from $6.3 billion a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected the world's largest oilfield services company to earn 73 cents a share in the quarter on revenue of $6.04 billion.

In the year-earlier first quarter, the company earned $1.3 billion, or $1.09 a share.

Oilfield services revenue fell 3% to $5.44 billion from a year earlier, and 13% sequentially, Schlumberger said in a statement Friday.

"The rate of decline in revenue at oilfield services accelerated considerably compared to the fourth quarter, largely due to the precipitous drop in the North American natural gas rig count," said Chairman and CEO Andrew Gould. "Outside North America, low activity in Russia and the fall of many local currencies against the U.S. dollar remained the principal causes of weakness."

The company said its visibility on 2009 hasn't materially changed from the end of the fourth quarter, adding it doesn't see a significant recovery in North American gas drilling before 2010.

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