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The Decline Curve Never Sleeps

By Elliott H. Gue on Apr. 30, 2018

Oil-field services giants Schlumberger (NYSE: SLB) and Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) perform work for large integrated oil companies like Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE: XOM), national oil companies like Saudi Aramco, and smaller independents. These two giants operate in just about every oil- and gas-producing country in the world and provide indispensable services.

By virtue of their geographic reach and diversified service and product offerings, Halliburton and Schlumberger’s management teams have a bird’s-eye view of the oil industry that they often share during their quarterly earnings calls.

In the almost 20 years I’ve covered the energy sector, the insights gleaned from their conference calls have furnished countless investment ideas and read-throughs throughout the energy value chain. The first quarter was no exception.

During Schlumberger’s first-quarter earnings call, CEO Paal Kibsgaard discussed the looming air pocket in global oil supply–a consequence of the industry slashing spending on exploration and development. We’ve discussed this risk at length in Energy & Income Advisor, but early evidence of this shortfall has emerged.

 

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