Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Halliburton to Return Equipment, Workers to Gulf

by Paula Dittrick, OGJ Senior Staff Writer, OGJ, Apr 18, 2011
Halliburton Co.’s management plans in the coming months to return some equipment and workers to the Gulf of Mexico, Halliburton Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and Pres. Dave Lesar said Apr. 18 while he announced escalating first-quarter profits.

Halliburton moved some equipment and workers from the gulf to US onshore while regulators temporarily suspended drilling during investigations into the Apr. 20, 2010, blowout of BP PLC’s deepwater Macondo well in 5,000 ft of water off Louisiana and the subsequent oil spill.

An explosion and fire on Transocean Ltd.'s Deepwater Horizon semisubmersible resulted in the deaths of 11 workers. A resumption of offshore US drilling is coming about gradually as producers and contractors fulfill new federal certification requirements [please see remarks below -- D.R.].

Halliburton reported first-quarter net income of $511 million, compared with $206 million for the same period last year [please see details, here. -- D.R.]. [Full story]

(U.S. regulators began during the first quarter to issue drilling permits for the Gulf of Mexico's deep waters for the first time since halting such activity in response to BP PLC's oil spill a year ago. Halliburton, which provided services to BP on its doomed Macondo well, has won 30% of the drilling service contracts and 40% of well-completion work for projects that have been approved since the resumption of activity, CEO Lesar said. As a result, Lesar said, Halliburton plans in the coming months to bring back to the Gulf some equipment and workers that it had deployed onshore during the deep-water drilling shut down---please see MarketWatch, Apr 18, 2011, here. All deep-water drilling must comply with new safety and environmental mandates imposed since the spill. Companies/Operators also must prove they can swiftly contain a blowout in deep water. Two companies -- Houston-based Helix Energy Solutions Group and the Exxon Mobil-led Marine Well Containment Company -- have developed systems including vessels and other equipment to capture oil from runaway deep-water wells---please see my post here, including remarks. For Halliburton 4Q 2010 earnings, please see my post here, including remarks. In January 2010, the US presidential commission investigating the BP disaster slammed Halliburton, along with BP and rig owner Transocean---please see my post here. For Halliburton's operations in Iraq, please see my post here. -- D.R.)

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