Big three oilfield service firms start year with asset sales

Jan. 17, 2020
Schlumberger, Halliburton and Baker Hughes are said to be planning for the sale of some units.

Offshore staff

NEW YORK/DENVER – Schlumberger, Halliburton and Baker Hughes have reportedly kicked off the new year by putting units up for sale, as the three largest names in oilfield services seek to reshape their businesses and adjust to falling demand.

According to Reuters, oilfield service providers are facing reduced spending by oil and gas producers as investors push for higher shareholder returns rather than more drilling activity. Competition also is forcing service companies to exit less profitable businesses.

The trio, which hold about 26% of the global oilfield services market, according to consultancy Spears & Associates, recently disclosed plans to review operations in light of declining demand for their services.

The asset sales, which could raise $800 million combined for the trio, come amid cost cutting. Halliburton last year cut more than 8% of its North American staff and Schlumberger booked a $12.7 billion writedown in October.

“We believe this is best so we can focus on products and services core to the lifecycle of the reservoir,” Halliburton was reported to have said in a statement, confirming the marketing of its pipeline and process service business. It hopes to close a sale by mid-year.

Schlumberger and Baker Hughes declined to comment, according to the Reuters report.