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Schlumberger posts profit

HOUSTON, October 21, 2016 – The world’s biggest oilfield services company announced USD 176 million in profits for Q3 on Thursday, indicating that improved rig activity in North America and elsewhere is driving the embattled sector up.

A planned reduction of activity by Cameron International, which Schlumberger acquired in April, drove total revenues down 2% sequentially, CEO Paal Kibsgaard said in a press release. Although year-on-year profit fell 82% (from USD 989 million last Q3), the rest of the businesses outperformed expectations.

“Excluding Cameron, revenue increased 1% sequentially, driven by higher activity in the North America and Middle East areas as well as in the Australia and Russia geomarkets,” Kibsgaard said.

 

The Q3 report indicated also that Schlumberger maintained its workforce of some 100,000 employees globally, after cutting some 50,000 jobs in the first 18 months of the recent oil slump.

The company’s strong performance comes in the wake of an unexpected profit announcement Wednesday by competitor Halliburton, currently the world’s second-largest oilfield services provider.

Similarly to Halliburton executives, Kibsgaard said he was optimistic the worst was over in the sector.

“In the global oil market, the supply and demand of crude is now more or less balanced, as evidenced by flattening petroleum inventory levels and the start of consistent draws toward the end of the quarter – particularly in North America,” he added in the press release.

“At the same time, oil demand for 2017 was again revised upward in October and if combined with OPEC’s announced intention to cut production, this suggests further inventory draws in the coming quarters that should lead to upward movement in prices.”

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