Traditionally, the oilfield service companies' largest player, Schlumberger
Along with the company's latest financial and operating results -- which, until recently, tended to surprise on the high side -- I look forward to a detailed discussion of general energy trends from CEO Andrew Gould. Unfortunately, unless I miss my bet, the remarks this time around will be about as negative as they've been in several years.
Of course, crude oil prices sank again last week, and natural gas has fallen sharply, as demand shrinks and supply expands. In addition, Schlumberger and its sidekick Halliburton
But you may not be aware of the full effect that commodity price slides have had on contract drilling activity. In North America as a whole, after peaking near 2,450 in September, the number of total rigs working was down to about 2,350 in November, and early estimates show the figure for December will be down another 250 or so.
And according to Baker Hughes
None of this is going to benefit the oilfield services sector, either the drilling contractors or the companies like Schlumberger and Weatherford
I'm somewhat less sanguine than some of my peers about when commodities prices will go up. On that basis, I can't warm up to the land drillers, and indeed, the only contractor of any ilk I'd pay careful attention to these days is deepwater king Transocean
Nearly 4,900 Motley Fool CAPS players have given a thumbs-up to Transocean, cementing its status as a five-star company. Are you one of them?
For related Foolishness: