Schlumberger sells Wilson piping and fitting unit to National Oilwell Varco

HOUSTON, Wed Apr 11, 2012 – Schlumberger Ltd., the world’s largest oilfield services company, will sell its piping and fitting unit to National Oilwell Varco in a cash deal, the firms said on Tuesday.

They did not disclose terms of the deal for the Wilson distribution unit, which also makes valves, lifts and other products used by oil and gas companies.

Wilson was bought as a part of Schlumberger’s $11.3 billion buyout of Smith International in 2010.

National Oilwell, which makes equipment used in oil and gas drilling, expects to tap into new market opportunities with the deal, it said in a statement.

Schlumberger shares closed down 0.5 percent at $67.26 while National Oilwell Varco was down around 3 percent at $7

Schlumberger sees results hurt by price pressures

NEW ORLEANS,  Mon Mar 26, 2012 – Schlumberger Ltd., the world’s largest oilfield services company, said profits would be hurt by downward pricing pressure for hydraulic fracturing services, which had now reached North American liquids basins as well.

Chief Executive Paal Kibsgaard said on top of that price squeeze, already widely seen in natural gas areas due to weak gas prices, the shift of pressure pumping equipment to liquids-rich basins was reducing utilization while also adding to costs.

“Together these factors will have an impact on our results both in North America, and overall, in this and in the coming quarters,” Kibsgaard said in a speech to kick off the Howard Weil Energy Conference in New Orleans on Monday.

The use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, around the many U.S. shale basins has boosted natural gas production while stemming a decades-long trend of falling U.S. oil production.

“There is some slackening of demand in the gas plays and there has been migration to liquids plays. So there’s more supply coming online and it is normal that pricing would come down,” said David Vaucher, an analyst with IHS-Cambridge Energy Research Associates in Houston.

But supplies in many regions remain scarce in general, from rigs to frack crews, water, sand and synthetic proppants used to keep cracks in shale rock open to get the hydrocarbons out.

Schlumberger posts profit jump of 36 percent for quarter

HOUSTON ― Schlumberger Ltd., the world’s largest oilfield services company, reported a 36 percent rise in quarterly earnings, beating Wall Street forecasts, but it warned that Europe’s debt crisis could hurt economic growth and trim oil demand.

The International Energy Agency cut its oil demand forecast earlier this week, saying the possibility of a credit crunch in Europe could set off a recession that would cut energy consumption.

Oilfield service companies have benefited from strong crude oil prices, which have prompted their energy-producing customers to hike spending by about 10 percent this year, according to a survey by Barclays Capital.

Schlumberger said in a statement that its planned capital spending would rise by more than 12 percent to nearly $4.5 billion this year, but added that it was “building the required flexibility into our resource plans.”

“This is code for throttling back on spending, at a minimum, if warranted,” Simmons & Co analyst Bill Herbert wrote in a note to investors.

Schlumberger said its growth in North America was driven by business in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, where activity is increasing after the 2010 BP Plc. oil spill brought drilling there to a standstill.

Offshore activity in Africa and land business in the Middle East and North Africa were also strong, the company said.

Still, recent price increases that had helped the onshore business in North America have slowed from the third quarter, according to Schlumberger.

U.S. drilling activity has exploded in recent years as the development of shale rock formations has surged. That has been a boon for Schlumberger and rival Halliburton Co., which reports its quarterly earnings next week.

That drilling has led to a glut of natural gas and pushed prices for the fuel to its lowest levels in a decade, raising expectations that such activity will decline.