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Halliburton doubles quarterly profit

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Oilfield Technology,

As reported by Reuters, Halliburton has reported an adjusted net income of US$320 million in 4Q21, double that from a year earlier, prompting the oilfield services company to lift its dividend following a rebound in crude and natural gas prices.

US oil prices rose more than 50% last year and have made a strong start to 2022, hovering around US$85/bbl, thanks to the global economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and supply cuts by OPEC.

That has encouraged producers to ramp up drilling activity, with the US rig count rising 68% year-over-year to 586 at the end of 4Q21, according to Baker Hughes data.

Rivals Schlumberger and Baker Hughes topped market expectations for 4Q21 earnings last week, with Schlumberger's top executive likening current market conditions to those experienced during the last industry supercycle.

"This is momentum that I have not seen in a long time," Halliburton Chief Executive Jeff Miller told investors on a call.

The Houston, Texas-based firm said it would boost its dividend to 12 cents, payable on 23 March, up from a 4.5 cents dividend previously.

Miller said he anticipates spending in North America to grow by more than 25% in 2022 and that pricing for hydraulic fracturing will move higher, with incrementals up 30%. He said the company has been able to pass along higher prices for trucking, sand and other inputs to customers.

Halliburton estimates the North American completions market is nearing 90% utilisation, and said its fleets are currently sold out. Fully electric hydraulic fracturing locations are expected to take up a larger share of the market, Miller told investors.

Internationally, he anticipates mid-teens spending growth.

Wall Street analysts said the results were positive, with the exception of margins in its Completion and Production unit, which missed estimates. On Monday, Miller said margins in that unit would likely be sequentially flat for the current quarter, while margins in its Drilling and Evaluation unit would be flat to down 50 basis points.

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