(Adds details, background)
July 19 (Reuters) - Schlumberger NV said on Friday Chief Operating Officer Olivier Le Peuch will replace longtime Chief Executive Officer Paal Kibsgaard, as the top oilfield services provider bets on a technology expert to steer it back to its strengths in high-tech equipment.
The change of guard comes when the oilfield services industry is buffeted by moderating demand as oil producers cut back spending to mollify investors seeking higher returns and use fewer equipment to extract crude oil.
A veteran who has been with the company for more than three decades, Le Peuch was being groomed as a successor and was in February named the chief operating officer, a role Kibsgaard held before his elevation to the top role in August 2011.
Le Peuch will start his new role in August, when Kibsgaard, 52, will retire.
Mark Papa, a current non-independent director, will become non-executive chairman, Schlumberger said.
Schlumberger is set to report second-quarter results before markets open on Friday. (Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)