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Baker Hughes, Schlumberger get new work in Norway

Oilfield service companies had struggled during the sharp market contraction of 2016.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Baker Hughes, Schlumberger get new work in Norway
Norwegian energy company Statoil awards contracts to once-struggling oilfield services companies Baker Hughes and Schlumberger. Photo courtesy of Statoil/Ole Jørgen Bratland

With the energy sector recovering, Norwegian energy company Statoil said it awarded North Sea service contracts to Baker Hughes and Schlumberger.

Two of the world's leading oilfield service companies were awarded four-year contracts, with options for two-year extensions, to help develop infrastructure slated for operations in the Oseberg and the Gullfaks fields in the North Sea.

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"These contracts will help increase activities on the Norwegian continental shelf, ensure predictability, and create more jobs," Geir Tungesvik, a vice president in charge of drilling operations for Statoil, said in a statement,

Both service companies have an active footprint in the Norwegian energy sector already. Rig component installation is slated for late 2017.

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The contracts for the service companies follow recovery in the broader energy sector. Baker Hughes in particular was hit hard by a downturn characterized last year by oil prices that at one point dropped below $30 per barrel. The price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, was around $55 per barrel early Wednesday.

In announcing a slight increase in revenue for the third quarter, Schlumberger Chairman and CEO Paal Kibsgaard said the business environment had stabilized, after "calling the bottom of the cycle" in second quarter 2016.

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Neither company had a statement on the Statoil deal. No value was published for the contracts.

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Norway is one of the world leaders in oil and natural gas production. This week, the government awarded 56 new production licenses for offshore work to 29 companies. Most of the licenses were for work in the North Sea, where production is clouded by field maturation.

"It is very positive that the oil companies still see potential on the Norwegian shelf, and that interest to invest in exploration in mature areas is significant," Sissel Eriksen, an exploration director at the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, said.

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