Like most Fools, I spend a good part of every day sorting through potential investment ideas. After you do that for a while, you like to think you've developed something of a feel for solid companies. And I believe I've found one in Halliburton (NYSE:HAL), which has emerged stronger from its recent changes.

This company swims in the same waters as industry leader Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB), Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI), Weatherford (NYSE:WFT), and a host of smaller service companies. All of them, in one way or another, help the producers of oil and gas to find and develop reserves.

Halliburton realigned itself last quarter, in part so that we'd all have less difficulty understanding its component parts. It now has two operating segments: its Completion and Production (C&P) segment, and its Drilling and Evaluation (D&E) segment.

Also in the past year, Halliburton has taken two big steps to benefit itself and its shareholders. In November 2006, it began the process -- completed this spring -- of spinning off KBR (NYSE:KBR), its engineering and construction unit. KBR was less profitable than the rest of Halliburton and also had attracted negative media attention, for mostly political reasons. Some of that condemnation spilled over to the parent company.

And then, earlier this year, CEO Dave Lesar announced that he'd open a base of operations in Dubai. He wasn't leaving the U.S. as much as he was acknowledging that the epicenter of the search for oil and gas had moved to the Eastern Hemisphere. Lesar still maintains an office in Houston, but he now spends much of his time in the United Arab Emirates. The move already had begun to pay dividends by the quarter that ended in September, when the company's internationally generated income increased appreciably.

It's also worth noting that Halliburton trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of less than 10, generates a return on equity of nearly 39%, and will start you off with a 1% dividend yield.

While crude prices just may pull back slightly and probably temporarily, you should be aware that, short of a big decline, cheaper crude won't affect the world of the service folks appreciably. So if you have an interest in casting your lot with the bigger energy companies, Halliburton might be a good place to start.

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Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned, and while Dubai is almost certainly a garden spot, he's glad to office in the Carolinas. He welcomes your questions or comments. The Motley Fool has a serviceable disclosure policy.