Schlumberger NV Earnings Call Nuggets: North American Market and International Spending

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Schlumberger NV (NYSE:SLB) recently reported its second quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

North American Market

Kurt Hallead – RBC Capital Markets: Question, Paal for you on the North American market. You continue to show some differential performance on the margins front despite the fact that – and show improvement in terms of activity, revenue, and margins despite an anemic rate progression and a lot of discussion here about the well count and so on. So, I was just wondering if you can give us a little bit of additional color as to what product lines that you see will be benefiting from the shift in the type of drilling that’s taking place in the U.S. marketplace and what kind of technologies that Schlumberger has that will continue to enable Schlumberger to show differential margin performance going forward?

Paal Kibsgaard – CEO: Well, I think if you look at what enables us to show differentiated margins, I think it’s the – there’s several things. Firstly, our ability to, I think, execute very well on land, whether that is on drilling or on pressure pumping. But also the fact that we have a very well balanced portfolio in between drilling and production related activities on land as well as in between land and offshore. So, we obviously have a very strong offshore business, both rig-related as well as the seismic but what we have done in recent years, starting off in 2010 was to restructure the business on land which in previous years, I would say, had underperformed. Through that restructuring, I think we are performing on par with the best if not better in most of our product lines. So if you look at the trends of drilling in North America land market now going towards more and more horizontal wells, predominantly focused on liquids, all our drilling segments obviously benefit from that. At the same time, our pressure pumping business through new technology deployments such as HiWAY are also benefiting from this. We’re also introducing to the market our own multistage completion technology which has been a gap in our portfolio in recent years, which also should enjoy quite significant growth going forward. So I think it’s a good balance between land and offshore, good balance between drilling and production on land and overall very strong focus on execution.

Kurt Hallead – RBC Capital Markets: As a follow-up, Paal, on that, with respect to the overall margin performance of Schlumberger, especially in the international marketplace, are you getting in a sense that we’re starting to see a shift in the industry that will demonstrate Schlumberger’s relative product and services strength, whether its deepwater or otherwise? You think we’re at a kind of inflection point in the marketplace where we’re going to see the strengths of Schlumberger?

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