Thus far, two oilfield services companies have reported their quarterly numbers, and the results are dissimilar. Not that the first of the companies, Halliburton (NYSE:HAL), shot the proverbial lights out.Its numbers were way down from last year's comparables, but it did beat expectations, and in this market, that's pretty much a win.

The second of the two companies, Weatherford (NYSE:WFT), plain and simply suffered (to a greater degree than Halliburton) for its heavy exposure to the North American markets. The company's revenue in the North American market was $571 million, or 44% below last year's pace. A Canadian slowdown was primarily responsible for the pullback. Indeed, drilling activity in Canada plummeted to an average of 89 units working, well below the decade-old low of 101 active rigs in 1999.

As a result, Weatherford's operating income line for its home continent came in at a $709,000 loss, versus a $224 million gain during last year's comparable quarter, and down a whopping $124 million from just the prior quarter's results.

Fortunately, the company performed better internationally. For instance, in the Middle East/North Africa/Asia region, revenues were up 7%, although its operating income slipped 5% from the same quarter in 2008. Revenues in Europe/West Africa/FSU (that's the former Soviet Union, not Florida State University) declined by 6%, while its operating income fell by 37%.

But the real shining star was Latin America, whose revenue jumped by 72% year over year, despite being flat with the sequentially prior quarter. The most recent quarter's operating income of $86 million was up 47% year over year, and down 7% from the previous quarter.

We'll have to wait for a number of other members of oilfield services companies to arrive at a firm grip about the sector's current condition. For instance, Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) and Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) will report shortly, as will offshore drilling kingpin Transocean (NYSE:RIG) and oilfield systems manufacturer National Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV). All will help us refine our understanding of the sector.

For my money, however, the number of rigs that have become stacked -- oilfield for "idled" -- and the projects that have been cancelled have dealt a severe blow to the oilfield-service companies in general. Other than perhaps Schlumberger and Halliburton, I'm therefore inclined to keep my powder dry on the group, until a definite change becomes evident.

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Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. He does solicit your question or comments. National Oilwell Varco is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.