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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)
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.

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