HOUSTON, July 28 (UPI) -- All things considered, a 10 percent decline in revenue for the second quarter is encouraging, the top executive at oilfield services company Baker Hughes said.
Baker Hughes, one of the leading companies servicing the exploration and production side of the industry, reported second quarter revenue at $2.4 billion, down 10 percent from the previous quarter. Year-on-year, revenue is down 39 percent.
Crude oil prices stabilized somewhat during the second quarter of the year, but are still off more than 10 percent from this date last year. A lower price for crude oil means companies have less capital to invest in exploration and, as a result, profits for companies like Baker Hughes are vanishing.
In North America alone, Baker Hughes said its revenue was down 18 percent from the first quarter, a decline the company said was driven in large part by a steep drop in onshore activity. The company said the rig count in Canada and the United States was down 35 percent from the previous quarter's average.
Chairman and CEO Martin Craighead said the company is moving through structural changes to adapt to what he described as a tough market environment.
"I am encouraged to see that our second quarter revenue declined only 10 percent sequentially despite a 19 percent drop in the global rig count," he said in a statement.
Missing from Craighead's comments were sentiments expressed by peer companies that the market has turned the corner. In a report for the second quarter, industry rival Weatherford International said that, particularly for North America, the market may have "hit a bottom."
Halliburton and Baker Hughes unveiled plans to join forces in late 2014, though the merger was scrapped after the U.S. Justice Department said the deal would be unprecedented in its "scope of competitive overlaps and antitrust issues."