Oilfield Service Providers Assure Investors That Patience Will Pay Off

From Bloomberg:
The world’s biggest oilfield service companies have a message for investors: There’s a payoff for patience.

While first-quarter earnings were less than exciting, Schlumberger Ltd., the largest service provider, said it plans to profitably add about 1 million horsepower worth of rock-crushing pumps this year into North American shale. Halliburton Co., the fracking king, said it sees a return to the 20 percent profit margins last seen before the downturn.

Their optimism comes as oil prices drive toward $70 a barrel in New York, a strong psychological signal of recovery, while Saudi Arabia has said it sees $80 oil in the foreseeable future. Prices at that level could loosen the leash on what explorers will pay service providers to open their wells moving forward.

"I’m excited about the outlook for North America and our March exit margins clearly demonstrate our path to normalized margins," said Jeff Miller, the Halliburton chief executive officer, on a conference call Monday after earnings were released.
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