Halliburton shares rise amid increased oil activity in North America

Halliburton shares rise amid increased oil activity in North America

NEW YORK: Halliburton offered an improved outlook on North American oilfield activity on Wednesday , posting a tiny quarterly profit that showed continued drag from a petroleum industry downturn.The US oil services giant, a player in the hydraulic fracturing behind the US shale boom, said North American activity improved in the third quarter with a higher rig count as oil prices stabilised.”I am pleased with our third quarter results given the devastation our industry has faced over the last two years,” Halliburton chief executive Dave Lesar said in a statement.”We believe the underlying fundamentals driving our industry are strengthening, and I am optimistic about Halliburton’s relative performance as we move into the new year,” he said.The company’s share price rose 5.1 per cent to US$49.46 in mid-morning trading.Halliburton reported a scant US$6 million in third-quarter net profit, up from a US$54 million loss in the year-ago period. Revenues were flat at US$3.8 billion.Oil services companies have been big losers in the last two years due to an industry slump that pushed US oil prices below US$30 a barrel in February, causing large petroleum producers to cut tens of billions of dollars in investment.The downturn prompted Halliburton to announce a deal in 2014 to acquire rival Baker Hughes for US$34.6 billion, but the transaction died in May due to opposition from antitrust regulators.Oil prices have since returned to the US$50…

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