UPDATE 1-Schlumberger profit rises on strong drilling worldwide

Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:07am EDT
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* Third-quarter earnings per share $1.29 vs est $1.24

* Revenue up 11 percent to $11.61 bln

* Offshore drilling strong in North America

* Middle East and Asia drive international demand

Oct 18 (Reuters) - Schlumberger Ltd, the world's largest oilfield services company, reported a better-than-expected 20 percent rise in quarterly profit as offshore drilling increased in North America and demand from the Middle East and Asia rose.

The company, which topped analysts' profit estimates for the eighth consecutive quarter, said a seasonal rebound in Canadian drilling also contributed to a record quarterly revenue.

"Performance in North America was particularly strong," Chief Executive Paal Kibsgaard said.

Though he said prices for onshore services in North America remained weak in the third quarter, Schlumberger has been shielded from subdued demand thanks to its exposure to an offshore drilling boom in the United States, Canada and beyond.

Schlumberger generates nearly 70 percent of its revenue from operations outside North America. The company said international drilling activity in the quarter was led by the Middle East and Asia, including its key markets of Saudi Arabia and Iraq.   Continued...