Schlumberger Warns Weak Fracking Demand To Hurt North America Revenue

Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB), the world’s largest oilfield services provider, warned investors on Dec. 4 that its fourth-quarter North America revenues would likely decline 15% sequentially on steeper-than-expected price declines in hydraulic fracturing.

The drop in hydraulic fracturing activity this year had been “significantly larger” than expected, Patrick Schorn, executive vice president of wells at Schlumberger, said at a conference in New York, leading to a bigger decline in pricing than it had originally forecast.

Oilfield service companies this year have been hit by a slowdown in demand as producer customers face transportation bottlenecks that have cheapened the value of their oil. A recent drop in U.S. oil prices to around $53 a barrel has also stoked fresh concern among investors that markets are over-supplied.