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Schlumberger calls for industry rethinking

Oil and gas field services company looking for new ways of doing business.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   March 22, 2016 at 8:35 AM
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NEW ORLEANS, March 22 (UPI) -- The head of Schlumberger, one of the largest oil and gas services companies in the world, said from New Orleans the industry is in need of a strategic makeover.

Lower crude oil prices have left companies servicing the energy sector with less capital as spending declines for exploration and production. Industry rivals Halliburton and Baker Hughes aim to join forces to endure the downturn. British energy company BG Group combined with Royal Dutch Shell in a similar effort.

Schlumberger, one of the largest companies in the upstream sector, reported revenue for the fourth quarter came in at $7.7 billion, a 9 percent decline from one year ago. CEO Paal Kibsgaard told industry leaders at an energy conference in New Orleans corporate evolution from the services sector may be a necessity.

"We believe that project performance can only be improved by finding ways of breaking with the past and replacing the existing model with a new approach based on collaboration and commercial alignment between the operators and the largest service companies," he said in his prepared remarks.

Schlumberger is putting the finishing touches on the integration of fellow services company Cameron International earlier this month. The company made the offer for the Houston-based maker of tools for oil field development in August, saying the combined entity would have a "pore-to-pipeline" footprint in the industry.

"It has become very clear that there is huge potential in a much closer integration between surface and subsurface technologies in both the drilling and production domains," Kibsgaard said. "With the imminent close of the Cameron transaction we are now ready for the next stage of this technology integration."

The company said the decrease for inland exploration and production activity was the sharpest in 30 years as capital spending by North American players declined more than 40 percent last year.

Last year's rig count in the United States was off nearly 70 percent from 2014 and Schlumberger said the "massive over-capacity" in the market suggested there were few signs of a pricing recovery on the immediate horizon.

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