The boss of energy service giant Schlumberger said yesterday that provided the global economy continued to show signs of recovery, the worst of the recession was behind.
Chief executive Andrew Gould, speaking after Schlumberger posted sharply lower revenue and profits for the third quarter, said the shape of the economic recovery beyond 2009 and the subsequent recovery in oil and gas demand remained the determining factors for future activity increases.
He said indications of inventory rebuilding across many industries plus help from government stimuli had helped to strengthen demand for both oil and gas, adding: “While uncertainties remain, notably the transition from current stimuli to industrial and consumer demand and the extent to which the recovery will be limited by high unemployment, the demand for oil and gas will increase somewhat over the coming months. As a result, we see continuing stabilisation of activity around the world.
“Our outlook for the remainder of 2009 assumes a continued modest recovery in North American gas drilling but no significant improvement in service pricing. Overseas, while rig activity is stabilising, seasonal factors and pricing concessions made in the first half-year . . . still being implemented leave some risk of further small revenue declines.”
Schlumberger reported third-quarter revenue of £3.27billion against £4.37billion a year earlier. It said income from continuing operations was £474million, down 48% year-on-year.