Schlumberger predicts strong 2018 for shale

This Oct. 18, 2016, file photo, oil show attendees walk past the Schlumberger booth at the Permian Basin International Oil Show at Ector County Coliseum, in Odessa, Texas. (AP)
Updated 20 January 2018

Schlumberger predicts strong 2018 for shale

NEW YORK: Schlumberger reported better-than-expected profit in the fourth quarter and said it expected another strong year for North American shale drilling in 2018.
Chairman Paal Kibsgaard said explorers and producers now predict 15-20 percent growth in North American investment this year and said 2018 would be the first year of growth for all parts of its global operations since 2014.
“Looking at the oil market, the strong growth in demand is projected to continue in 2018, on the back of a robust global economy,” he said.
The recovery of oil prices to almost $70 a barrel has given fresh legs to shale drilling in North America, poising the US to push oil output past 10 million barrels per day — toppling a record set in 1970.
Prices of West Texas Intermediate surged about 25 percent in the past three months, while Brent crude climbed nearly 24 percent, spurring US shale producers to put more rigs to work.
Schlumberger’s revenue from North America rose 59 percent to $2.81 billion for the fourth quarter, pushing total revenue up 15 percent to $8.18 billion.
International revenues fell one percent during that time.
The company pointed to the strong shale market as the reason for its run-down of its seismic acquisition business. It said it was the only one of its businesses which it did not believe would meet expectations for returns going forward.

Davos Diary: From chalets to snow boots, how to master the WEF logistics

Updated 5 min 57 sec ago

Davos Diary: From chalets to snow boots, how to master the WEF logistics

  • Swiss hotels are good, with restaurants and facilities that you would really miss in a chalet
  • Best to do away with the shoes/spikes mix altogether, and go for proper, industrial-quality snow boots

DAVOS: Davos is the ultimate networking event, but also in many ways the ultimate logistics challenge. To get to the top of the Magic Mountain along with the 3,000 “masters of the universe” of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting, and stay there productively for the week-long jamboree, requires careful planning.

If you don’t make the right choice in some crucial decisions, you could miss out on the best moments. Here is some advice in four key areas to ensure you maximize the “Davos experience” in 2019.

1. Davos or Klosters as base camp? The two towns are only 20 km apart, but very different. Davos is bigger and more ostentatious; Klosters has the feel of “old money,” and its hotels are mostly all traditional Swiss Alpine style, compared to the modern apartments of Davos. If you stay in Davos, you will be right in the middle of things, with the Congress Center and other power hubs in walking distance. In Klosters you face a 20-minute shuttle ride each day to and from Davos; on the other hand, you are likely to have much more agreeable downtime, and have the opportunity to meet some interesting people, in the shuttle taxis and Klosters hotels.

2. Hotel or chalet? No contest — hotel every time. You will pay through the nose for the top ones, and even the more modest establishments are expensive, even by Dubai standards. But Swiss hotels are good, with restaurants and facilities that you would really miss in a chalet. The other advantage of a hotel is the fact that it is open 24 hours, and if you by chance lose your key, you are not locked out. This happened to me once in Davos, and I can assure you it is no fun to wander the snowy streets in minus-5-degree temperatures begging for a place in which to lie up until the chalet owner can come with a spare key. The hotel will cost you, but it is worth it.

3. Congress or Belvedere? The Congress Center in Davos is where all the big set pieces of the annual meeting take place — the big plenary sessions, the interesting Chatham House-style briefings, and some WEF social events all take place here. You have to be registered with WEF to gain access. But the Belvedere, a Steigenberger hotel, is where many of the most interesting people stay. It is always sold out during WEF, and only those with real pulling power, and plenty of money, can get to stay there. It is the hangout for many of the bankers and financiers who come to Davos to clinch lucrative deals. Best advice: Be registered with WEF for Congress access, but spend your evenings hanging around the Belvedere.

4. Boots or spikes? This is the last item on my “Davos essentials list,” but perhaps the most important. Some attendees wear ordinary day shoes, or even night-time loafers, but this is a fatal error. You can easily spot them, because they are mostly lying on their backs on a treacherous patch of ice, flailing around trying to get up. You will not get to shake too many important hands if you are laid up in hospital with a broken hip. The WEF hands out detachable ice-spikes for the elite who insist on hand-made brogues, but, while these might keep you upright some of the time, detaching and re-attaching is a convoluted process. Best to do away with the shoes/spikes mix altogether, and go for proper, industrial-quality snow boots. It’s amazing how quickly you get used to wearing them, especially when everybody else is. And, after a while, they look quite good even with a business suit.

  • Frank Kane is an award-winning business journalist based in Dubai. Twitter: @frankkanedubai