UPDATE 1-International drilling boom drives Schlumberger profit

Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:50am EDT
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* Second-quarter earnings per share $1.15 vs estimate $1.10

* Revenue up 8 percent to $11.18 bln vs estimate $11.11 bln

* Shares up 2 pct in premarket trading

July 19 (Reuters) - Schlumberger Ltd, the world's largest oilfield services company, posted a better-than-expected profit for the seventh quarter as drilling activity outside North America touched a 30-year high.

Schlumberger shares rose 2 percent to $80 in trading before the bell on Friday.

The company's exposure to the global offshore drilling boom has helped it offset a volatile North American market, where natural gas prices have remained weak due to excess supply from shale fields.

Exploration and drilling activity rebounded in China and Australia and growth continued in the key markets of Saudi Arabia and Iraq, Chief Executive Paal Kibsgaard said.

The company derives nearly 70 percent of its revenue from international operations, unlike rivals Halliburton Co and Baker Hughes Inc, which are more dependant on North America.

"The soft global economic picture has changed little since the first quarter. The U.S. has shown virtually no impact from the financial sequester, the Eurozone remains in recession, and data from China continue to be mixed," Kibsgaard said.   Continued...