Halliburton booms in Q2

Halliburton has piled on the profit in the second quarter as it racked up a quarterly revenue record.

The US contractor stalwart also said on Monday that chief executive Dave Lesar is to give up one of his titles, with chief operating officer Jeff Miller taking over the mantle of president.

A strong US land drilling market was one key factor behind the result and, with the outlook positive in this market, Halliburton is also to press ahead with additions to its fracturing fleet and services.

Net profit for the three months to the end of June was $775 million as compared with $648 million a year earlier.

Revenues shot from $7.32 billion to $8.05 billion, with completion and production revenues up to $4.9 billion, largely on the back of higher stimulation activity in the US onshore market.

There was also strong stimulation in the international sector, with this and the US activity more than offsetting the seasonal decline in Canada.

The drilling and evaluation segment brought in $3.1 billion in revenues, mainly due to higher wireline and fluid services in the eastern hemisphere and US. Once again the seasonal downturn in the Canadian market and a weaker Mexican market impinged somewhat.

Halliburton expects the strong US onshore market to continue, and is lookng for a margin of 20% in the third quarter.

Lesar commented: "We have concluded, based on the strength of this outlook, that we will immediately accelerate additions to our hydraulic fracturing fleet and logistics capabilities, with new crews available for service beginning later this year."

The Middle East market was also strong, driven by Saudi Arabia - which is expected to be the highest growth market for the full year.

It was not so good in the Latin American market, however, where Mexico in particular posed problems.

"In Latin America, revenue increased 4% sequentially, while operating income declined 39%," Lesar said.

"While we are very encouraged about the prospects for energy reform in Mexico, the land rig count was near historic low levels during the second quarter.

"Our results for the second quarter of 2014 were also negatively impacted by the late receipt of our blanket order for consulting and project management work, which impacted our ability to book revenue and offset costs.

"In addition, margins were impacted by mobilisation costs for our integrated projects in Mexico. Both of these issues are expected to turn around in the second half of the year.

"We believe full year Latin America margins should improve sufficiently to be in line with 2013 assuming the timely approval of our billings under the blanket order in Mexico, as well as a swift resolution of the retender of our Brazil drilling contract."

Lesar is also to relinquish the role of president, keeping hold of the chief executive and chairman titles, as chief operating officer Jeff Miller stepping up.

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