Schlumberger profits beat analysts' expectations

Global drilling surge helps SLB profits rise 20% for the 3rd quarter

(SLB Saturn Image) Schlumberger outlook robust with global drilling surge.
(SLB Saturn Image) Schlumberger outlook robust with global drilling surge.

Schlumberger, the world's largest oilfield services company, reported a better-than-expected 20 percent rise in quarterly profit as offshore drilling increased in North America and demand from the Middle East and Asia rose.

Schlumberger reported third-quarter 2013 revenue of $11.61 billion versus $11.18 billion in the second quarter of 2013, and $10.50 billion in the third quarter of 2012.

The company, which topped analysts' profit estimates for the eighth consecutive quarter, said a seasonal rebound in Canadian drilling also contributed to a record quarterly revenue.

"Performance in North America was particularly strong," Chief Executive Paal Kibsgaard said, according to Reuters. 

Though he said prices for onshore services in North America remained weak in the third quarter, Schlumberger has been shielded from subdued demand thanks to its exposure to an offshore drilling boom in the United States, Canada and beyond.

Schlumberger generates nearly 70 per cent of its revenue from operations outside North America. The company said international drilling activity in the quarter was led by the Middle East and Asia, including its key markets of Saudi Arabia and Iraq.



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