Halliburton intends to purchase oilfield-services firm Multi-Chem Group for an undisclosed price. The acquisition would help Halliburton expand its services portfolio at a period when energy companies are seeking to exploit hard-to-reach reservoirs. Halliburton said it expects to secure regulatory approval for the deal by the fourth quarter.
Schlumberger said its fourth-quarter profit fell 17% compared with the same period the year before. Officials at the oilfield-services company said they expect oil drilling will continue to decline this year.
Schlumberger's announcement Thursday that it will reduce its North American work force by about 5% likely is the first in a round of layoffs in the oilfield-services sector, according to this article. Companies added jobs when crude was approaching record high prices, but the drop in prices has prompted oil companies to cut their budgets for exploration and production this year, creating a domino effect with firms such as Schlumberger.
Boosted by increased drilling activity in North America, Halliburton, Baker Hughes and BJ Services reported improvements in their quarterly financial performance versus year-ago results. The Houston oilfield-service firms struggled in 2007, but rising natural gas prices and new domestic resources have helped boost exploration investments.
Contractors Baker Hughes and Smith International posted higher first-quarter profits amid oil price hikes that fueled producer spending. Baker Hughes, the world's third-largest oilfield-services company, reported a 5.4% increase in net profit. Smith, the fourth-largest, posted a 9.4% gain. Baker Hughes relied on North America for 44% of its first-quarter revenue, with the biggest revenue gain in Latin America, at 9.2%.