July 24 Drilling rig contractor Nabors
Industries Ltd said on Wednesday most of its clients
were planning rig reductions in the second half of the year,
after burning through their annual budgets too fast.
Greater efficiency in drilling operations led them to spend
more than they anticipated on services in the first half of the
year, Chief Executive Tony Petrello said.
"With the exception of just a minor portion of our
customers, most are planning rate reductions in the second
half," he told analysts on a conference call. "So those are
realities that we have to cope with."
Petrello spoke with reporters after Nabors reported
lower-than-expected second-quarter earnings on Tuesday.
The CEO of U.S. oilfield services leader Halliburton Co
said earlier this week that he believed currently high
oil prices made budget increases by clients more compelling.
U.S. oilfield services companies say the move toward
multi-well drilling from one site has been faster than they
expected, leading to an increase in wells drilled, which has
caused spending by their clients to rise, despite a flat number
of rigs this year.
While a natural gas drilling slump has left many U.S. rigs
idle, those capable of drilling multiple wells from one site
enjoy a utilization rate of 95 percent, Nabors said, and they
make up a quarter of the Nabors global fleet of 472 land rigs.
Nabors, owner of the world's largest land-rig fleet, also
announced the signing of 11 long-term contracts for new or
upgraded rigs. These include three for Iraq and Kazakhstan, and
six headed to Argentina, where Chevron Corp just signed
a deal for the huge Vaca Muerta shale.