Schlumberger Earnings Call Insights: Costs and Delays and Q1 Pickup

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Paal Kibsgaard – CEO: Well, if I look at international next year, we will see – more significant growth in ECA and EMEA, we will also see growth in Latin America, but the overall activity levels in Brazil is more or less flat year-over-year. So that will have an impact on Latin America growth, but if I look at ECA, we see significant growth overall in sub-Saharan Africa, where we have a very strong position and we also see quite significant growth in Russia. I would say ECA is the main growth locomotive next year, with sub-Saharan Africa and all over Russia, both land and offshore. Then in EMEA, I will say overall the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Iraq but also Kuwait, UAE, Oman will all be very strong for us. And in Asia, it is predominantly China and Australia which is going to be driving growth.

Q1 Pickup

Kurt Hallead – RBC Capital Markets: Just wanted to maybe hit you up on the North American front. I know that there is still quite a bit of uncertainty on the U.S. land, but I think the indications are there that there is going to be a pickup in some time here in the first quarter. So, with the pickup in activity on the horizon will it be safe to assume that margins would pretty much hit their low points in aggregate for North America, land in the first quarter and if not can you just kind of walk us through how you see things evolving?

Paal Kibsgaard – CEO: I am not ready to predict exact where North America land margins are going to fall. There is one new element of uncertainty this quarter which is further pricing pressure outside of hydraulic fracturing, right. But if you look at our view on 2013 for North America, we do expect the U.S. land rig count to be up between about 100 and 150 rigs in Q1 and this is based on the feedback from our customers, so that’s in line with what you are indicating. Now, in terms of activity for the full year we still see U.S. land rig count slightly down versus 2012, while the well count will be slightly up. If you look at Canada, the rig count is already over 500 so far in January, but we still see the full year also being down in 2012 versus – sorry, down versus 2012…

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