Baker Hughes streamlines structure

Company services the exploration and production side of the energy sector and wants to simplify.

By Daniel J. Graeber

HOUSTON, May 26 (UPI) -- Oil services company Baker Hughes said structural and leadership changes were made in a way that it said could help simplify operations and lower costs.

The company announced plans in the wake of a collapsed deal to merge with rival Halliburton to chart a course toward simplification. The steps, said Baker Hughes, are designed to build on its competitive position in the services sector and return value to shareholders.


Baker Hughes unveiled three organizational changes aimed at simplifying its business, reducing costs and bolstering its product sales and customer service efforts. It now said it will consolidate its regional operations structure into one global entity that will deliver "strong operating profits," combine its products and technology groups into one organization, and form a new commercial strategy group.

Richard Williams, who served previously as the president of North American operations, will help steer the momentum forward so that the changes won't disrupt customer commitments, the company said.

"These changes to our organizational design and leadership team demonstrate that we are moving quickly and decisively to execute on the strategy we outlined earlier this month," Chairman and CEO Martin Craighead said in a statement. "While we have more hard work ahead of us, the entire Baker Hughes team is committed to building on our strong foundation."


Halliburton and Baker Hughes unveiled plans to join forces in late 2014 as lower crude oil prices started to spill over into the economics of the upstream, or exploration and production, side of the energy sector.

The U.S. Justice Department in early April said the proposed merger of the two companies would be unprecedented in its "scope of competitive overlaps and antitrust issues."

Companies like Baker Hughes, which provide services to support exploration and production of oil and natural gas, have faced financial difficulties because of the low price of crude oil. Energy companies are spending less on exploration and production and, last week, Baker Hughes reported a net loss of 40 rigs worldwide in the number of rigs in service.

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