200 jobs threatened as firm serving oil and gas industry plans to close plant
Around 200 jobs are under threat after a manufacturing company announced a proposal to shut its Northern Ireland plant.
Schlumberger, which constructs equipment used in the oil and gas industry, is to consult with unions and employees about the proposed closure of its plant in Newtownabbey.
The multinational company blamed an ongoing slump in the sector.
"Due to the current prolonged downturn in the Oil and Gas industry, Schlumberger's manufacturing plants globally are underutilised and the company is considering a proposal to cease manufacturing, assembly and test activities in its Belfast plant during 2018," said Schlumberger in a statement.
"We completely understand the impact of this announcement on our employees and the local community.
"This is only a proposal at this stage and we will be conducting consultation with the union and our employee representatives to make every effort to try and mitigate as much as possible the impact on our employees.
"The oil and gas industry is going through the most severe downturn of the past 30 years with operators significantly reducing their investment.
"This is severely impacting technology services companies like Schlumberger.
"Between 2014 and 2016, Schlumberger's revenue was reduced by nearly half and unfortunately, we do not see yet any sustainable recovery.
"This scenario means, that to adapt to the new realities of the market, we need to restructure our production footprint."