March 18 Schlumberger Ltd, the world's
largest oilfield services company, warned on Monday that North
American activity was coming in lower than expected in the first
quarter, as fewer rigs were going back to work than it had
Shares of Schlumberger fell 2.5 percent to $77.40 in early
trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
In a copy of a speech delivered by Chief Executive Paal
Kibsgaard on Monday, Schlumberger said asset utilization had
recovered from a holiday slowdown and lower cost of a key
hydraulic fracturing ingredient, guar, was providing some
relief. But pricing remains the fundamental issue, he added.
"We continue to see negative pricing pressure in many
product lines in the first quarter, with active participation
from our principal competitors, reinforcing the somewhat unclear
outlook for the North America land market at this stage,"
Kibsgaard said in the speech to the Howard Weil energy
conference in New Orleans.
(Reporting by Braden Reddall in San Francisco; Editing by
Gerald E. McCormick)