Weatherford Sells U.S. Fracking Business to Schlumberger for $430M

Schlumberger is the world’s largest oilfield services (OFS) company. Weatherford International is the world’s fourth largest OFS company. They both have operations in the Marcellus/Utica region. We’ve posted a number of stories about Weatherford’s financial troubles–and seemingly inevitable march toward bankruptcy (see our stories here). However, Weatherford got a reprieve from its much larger competitor. In March 2017, Schlumberger and Weatherford announced they had formed a joint venture called OneStim, “to deliver completions products and services for the development of unconventional resource plays in the United States and Canada land markets. The joint venture will offer one of the broadest multistage completions portfolios in the market combined with one of the largest hydraulic fracturing fleets in the industry” (see Schlumberger Throws Weatherford a Lifeline, Challenges Halliburton). However, in December, Weatherford signaled they want to/need to sell off parts of the company in order to claw their way out of a $7.9 billion debt hole (see Weatherford Looks to Sell Off Pieces of the Business). First on the chopping block? The JV with Schlumberger. Weatherford announced in late December that instead of a joint venture with Schlumberger, they’re just going to sell their U.S. pressure pumping and pump-down perforating assets to Schlumberger for $430 million in cold, hard cash. In other words, Weatherford has just exited the fracking business in the U.S….
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Schlumberger Throws Weatherford a Lifeline, Challenges Halliburton

Schlumberger is the world’s largest oilfield services (OFS) company. Weatherford International is the world’s fourth largest OFS company. They both have operations in the Marcellus/Utica region. We’ve posted a number of stories about Weatherford’s financial troubles–and seemingly inevitable march toward bankruptcy (see our stories here). However, Weatherford may have just gotten a reprieve from its much larger competitor. On Friday, Schlumberger and Weatherford announced they have formed a joint venture called OneStim, “to deliver completions products and services for the development of unconventional resource plays in the United States and Canada land markets. The joint venture will offer one of the broadest multistage completions portfolios in the market combined with one of the largest hydraulic fracturing fleets in the industry.” Hmmm. Interesting. Here’s why. The world’s second largest OFS company is Halliburton. However, Halliburton is the world’s largest fracking company. The media is universally claiming the Schlumberg/Weatherford jv is squarely aimed at overtaking Halliburton to become the world’s largest fracking service. Can they do it? Another interesting observation: Earlier this month Mark McCollum, who had been Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Halliburton left to become the CEO of Weatherford (see Halliburton CFO Leaves to Become Weatherford CEO). We don’t think it’s a coincidence that Weatherford is now making a play to best its larger rival Halliburton, leveraging McCollum’s knowledge of how Halliburton became king of fracking. Two thoughts on the Sclumberger/Weatherford hook-up: (1) it keeps Weatherford out of bankruptcy by infusing $535 million of cash, (2) We think it may be the prelude to a full-out sale of Weatherford to Schlumberger down the road…
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Schlumberger 4Q16 & Full Year 2016 Results – Swings to Net Loss

The largest oilfield services (OFS) company in the world, Schlumberger, issued their fourth quarter and full year 2016 report on Friday. Schlumberger has major operations in the Marcellus/Utica. They drill and frack for many companies in our neck of the woods. (Other large OFS companies active in the M/U include Halliburton and Baker Hughes.) Schlumberger CEO Paal Kibsgaard said since the price of oil and gas is moving higher, his company will also increase the prices they charge E&Ps (exploration and production companies) in 2017. OFS companies have been hammered over the past couple of years to lower their prices. Such “price concessions” are now coming to an end. We can understand why. Revenue for Schlumberger in 2016 fell by 22% over 2015, and the company swung from making $2 billion in profit in 2015 to losing $1.7 billion in 2016. Ouch. Here’s the update…
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Schlumberger 3Q16: Turns a Profit, but Profits Down 82% Y/Y

SchlumbergerSchlumberger, the world’s biggest oilfield services company, issued their third quarter update yesterday. It was a mixed bag, with some good news and some not-so-good news. Like Halliburton, their chief rival, Schlumberger turned a profit in 3Q16 (see Halliburton 3Q16 Earnings Surprise: Turns a Profit!). Halliburton made a measly $7 million in 3Q16, while Schlumberger made $176 million. Halliburton went from losing $3.2 billion in 2Q16 to making a $7M profit, while Schlumberger went from losing $2.2 billion in 2Q16 to making $176M. However, if you look at the third quarter for each company compared with a year earlier, Halliburton’s 3Q16 profit was up 113% from 3Q15 to 3Q16 (going from -$53M to +$7M), while Sclumbeger’s profit went down 82% (from +$989M to +$176M). Hence the headlines in the financial press are trumpeting Schlumberger’s 82% decrease. The further good news for Schlumberger is that they maintained their workforce at around 100,000 employees–after having previously axed 50,000 jobs over the past couple of years. CEO Paal Kibsgaard said the o&g industry hit the bottom of the cycle in 2Q16 and Schlumberger (and by extension the industry) “stabilized” in 3Q16…
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Schlumberger 2Q16: The Worst is Over, Drilling on the Upswing

SchlumbergerEarlier this week MDN brought you the second quarter update from Halliburton, the world’s second largest oilfield services company (see Halliburton 2Q16: $3.2B Loss, Lays Off Another 5K, Thx to Obama DOJ). One of the (many) things said by Halliburton in their update is that it appears to them that the worst is now over–that drillers are beginning to drill again. Yesterday the worlds largest oilfield services company, Schlumberger, agreed. Sclumberger issued their 2Q16 update. The big news is that both Schlumberger and Halliburton have “called the bottom” of the oil and gas market. When they both agree, it’s a sure thing. Like Halliburton, Schlumberger also lost big money in 2Q16–$2.16 billion (vs. a $3.2 billion loss for Halliburton). In 2Q15 Schlumberger made $1.12 billion in profit. What a difference a year makes! At least we’re now turning it around. Here’s the Schlumberger 2Q16 update…
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Schlumberger Drilling Marcellus Test Wells in WV for DOE’s NETL

SchlumbergerSchlumberger is the largest oilfield services company in the world. Based in Houston, the company doesn’t do all that much work in the Marcellus/Utica region. The company issued it’s first quarter 2016 update yesterday. We typically don’t cover it here on MDN because they’re not heavily involved in our neck of the woods, but we did spot a reference to the Marcellus Shale in the update, which we’ve extracted for you below…
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Oilfield Services Co. Schlumberger Completes Merger with Cameron

Houston-based Schlumberger (pronounced Shlum-Bur-Zhay) is the world’s largest oilfield services company. Halliburton is #2, and not even close in size. As we reported yesterday, the Obama Dept. of Justice is opposing Halliburton’s merger plan to buy out Baker Hughes (see Obama DOJ Sues to Block Halliburton/Baker Hughes Merger). In a similar move, Schlumberger made a bid for Cameron International–a leading provider of flow equipment products, systems and services to worldwide oil and gas companies. While the DOJ is giving Halliburton/BH the stink eye, they approved the Schlumberger/Cameron deal in near record time. Last week Schlumberger completed the merger and the two are now one company…
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Schlumberger’s Ugly 4Q15: Fired Another 10,000, Lost $1B

Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield services company, released its full year and fourth quarter 2015 update last week. Like Halliburton, which we also report on today, Schlumberger was hit hard in 2015 with the slowdown in drilling. Revenue in 4Q14 for Schlumberger was $12.6 billion. In 4Q15 their revenue was $7.7 billion. Ouch. Schlumberger had a net income loss for 4Q15 of $1 billion, whereas they made $302 million of profit in 4Q14. While Halliburton laid of 4,000 people in 4Q15, Schlumberger laid of another 10,000 people. So that’s a cumulative 14,000 people out of jobs in the last three months of last year–from just two companies. With all of the bad news, Schlumberger, unlike Halliburton, did turn a profit last year. When you look at all of 2015, Schlumberger made just over $2 billion in profit, whereas Halliburton lost $165 million for the year…
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Schlumberger 3Q15: Revenue Down 33% Worldwide, Down 47% in N.A.

chart going downHouston-based Schlumberger (pronounced Shlum-Bur-Zhay), the largest oilfield services company in the world, reported its third quarter 2015 financial results yesterday. Schlumberger has major operations in the Marcellus/Utica, as well as 85+ other countries around the world. BIG company–employing over 100,000 people. Schlumberger is a good proxy for how the entire oil and gas industry is doing, given its size. And how is the mighty Schlumberger doing? Worldwide revenue for the company is down 33% from the same quarter last year. If you look only at North America, Schlumberger’s revenue is down 47% year over year–nearly half! Revenue from outside of North America performed slightly better–down “just” 27% year over year. The reason for the massive drop in revenue, according to CEO Paal Kibsgaard: fewer rigs operating and for those rigs that are operating, drillers are hammering the company to lower prices. Was there any good news in the update? Schlumberger has taken advantage of the low price environment to hoover up a number of associated and/or quasi-competitive companies, including Cameron International, Novatek Inc., and T&T Engineering Services. Below are select extracts of yesterday’s update, followed by a PDF of the full update (for those into that sort of thing)…
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Tiny Balls & Instant Credit – Oilfield Services Cos. Get Creative

For some time we’ve told you that drillers in the Marcellus/Utica, as well as other shale plays, have been hammering oilfield services companies on price. Oilfield services companies are companies like Sclumberger (largest such company in the world) and Halliburton (second largest in the world) and Baker Hughes (fifth largest in the world, being gobbled up by Halliburton later this year). Oilfield services companies provide much of the equipment, personnel, chemicals and other supplies to do the actual drilling and fracking of shale wells. They’re the contract workers, hired to do a job. Last December MDN was hearing that oilfield services companies were being forced to discount prices by as much as 20% (see Marcellus Oilfield Services Cos Being Forced to Discount). By February, when it was obvious the price downturn would last for an extended period of time, MDN picked up on Magnum Hunter’s comments that they were getting prices discounted by as much as 40% (see Magnum Hunter Slashes Drilling Budget by 75% for 2015). In addition to slashing prices, oilfield services companies, in an attempt to stay in business, are innovating in two other ways: (1) they’ve become bankers, allowing drillers to buy their services on credit, and (2) refracking existing wells with “tiny rubber-coated balls”…
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DUG East Panelists Discuss the Critical Role of Sand in Drilling

Some interesting tidbits from a roundtable discussion at last week’s Hart Energy DUG East conference. The panelists included reps from Chesapeake Energy, Range Resources, Halliburton and Schlumberger. Really, the biggest of the bigs when it comes to producers and oilfield services companies in the Marcellus Shale. A lot of the discussion seemed to revolve around the lowly grain of sand. It may surprise you (as it did us) to learn just how much sand is now being used per well in the Marcellus/Utica…
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Schlumberger Cuts Another 11K Jobs, 15% of Workforce Gone in 4 Mos

meat cleaverWow–it’s getting savage out there in the oil (and gas) fields with respect to jobs. In January we told you that Schlumberger (pronounced Shlum-Bur-Zhay), the world’s (and the U.S.’s) largest oilfield services company, cut 9,000 jobs from the company (see Schlumberger Firing 9,000 to Reduce Head Count, “Low Oil Prices”). Since that time, other companies like Halliburton and Baker Hughes (both competitors of Schlumberger) have cut 6,400 and 7,000 jobs respectively. Ouch. Looks like that was just getting the ax sharpened. Last Thursday Schlumberger announced another round of job cuts–this time 11,000. Analysts are predicting this is the opening round of more cuts to come from other companies, a so-called second round…
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Schlumberger Firing 9,000 to Reduce Head Count, “Low Oil Prices”

Wow…is about all we can say. Yesterday Schlumberger (pronounced Shlum-Bur-Zhay), the world’s (and the U.S.’s) largest oilfield services company, issued its fourth quarter 2014 and full-year 2014 operating results. Although revenues in 4Q14 rose 6.2 percent to $12.6 billion, earnings, what they pay investors, decreased by 82%–to $302 million for the quarter, largely because of “one-time charges.” The radical drop in oil prices has deeply affected Schlumberger. However, it wasn’t their financial results but this short mention in yesterday’s update that caught everyone’s attention: “In response to lower commodity pricing and anticipated lower exploration and production spending in 2015, Schlumberger decided to reduce its overall headcount to better align with anticipated activity levels for 2015. Schlumberger recorded a $296 million charge associated with a headcount reduction of approximately 9,000.” Ouch. It makes Doug “the ax” Lawler over at Chesapeake look like a junior achiever by comparison. Schlumberger employs about 120,000 worldwide, so 9,000 represents 7.5% of their workforce. Gone…
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Marcellus Oilfield Services Cos Being Forced to Discount

Make Him an Offer He Can't RefuseMDN editor Jim Willis attended the Platts Global Energy Outlook Forum yesterday in New York City. (New York at Christmas time is truly a sight to behold.) One of the more interesting things Jim learned was from a purely off-the-cuff remark made by John Hill, vice chairman and managing director of First Reserve, one of the world’s largest energy-focused private equity and infrastructure investment firms. John was talking about the downward pressure energy companies are making on oilfield services companies–like Schulmberger and Halliburton and Baker Hughes–forcing them to discount their prices. In the case of Halliburton, which is buying Baker Hughes (see Shotgun Wedding: Halliburton Forces Baker Hughes to Sell), Hill said energy companies are telling Halliburton they WILL lower their prices (by 20%) or else. Or else the energy companies will squawk to regulators in Washington that the proposed buyout is creating an unfair monopoly. The energy companies kind of have Halliburton over the proverbial barrel…
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OH Gov. Kasich Goes Foreigner-Hunting in Strasburg

Never mind that under Barack H. Obama illegal aliens continue to pour across an unprotected border along Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California (new Democrat voters streaming across to assist in the next election). Ohio Gov. John Kasich has far more important work to do in personally securing Ohio’s borders by investigating “foreigners” (i.e. American citizens) from exotic locations like Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and yes, Texas who come to Ohio to operate oil and gas drilling equipment. Kasich is on a mission to keep them out! (See OH Gov. Kasich Continues Trash Talk Out-of-State Workers.)

Kasich’s latest excursion in foreigner-hunting led him to Strasburg (Tuscarawas County), Ohio, to Schlumberger–pronounced shlum-bur-zhay, kinda Frenchy soundin’ y’know. Inquiring minds want to know… Did Kasich find any foreigners working there?
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Record-Breaking 19K New Wells to be Fracked in 2012

Hydraulic fracturing, the process used to break apart shale rock deep below the earth’s surface to allow natural gas and oil to flow, will increase in 2012 some 19 percent from last year according to Spears & Associates, a research and consulting company for the worldwide petroleum industry. Almost 19,000 new wells will be fracked in 2012, compared with 16,000 in 2011. Halliburton is the largest U.S. fracking services provider with 18 percent of the market.

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