UPDATE 2-Baker Hughes boosted by rising demand for well completion services
* Q2 revenue drops 33 pct, but beats analysts estimates
* Strongest revenue beat in at least 8 quarters
* Producers returning to incomplete wells boosts demand
* N. America rev down 25 pct vs UBS estimates of 40 pct drop
* Baker Hughes shares up 3 pct, Halliburton up 4 pct (Adds analyst comments, updates shares)
July 21 (Reuters) - Oilfield services provider Baker Hughes Inc's quarterly revenue fell less than expected as more and more North American shale oil producers returned to complete wells they had abandoned as crude oil prices slumped.
These producers had built up a heavy backlog of drilled but uncompleted wells, but with oil steadying at about $50 per barrel, some producers are now coming back to these wells.
Rising stage intensity - the practice of fracking more stages per well to increase production - also helped Baker Hughes stem revenue losses, said Societe Generale analyst Edward Muztafago.
Baker Hughes's second-quarter revenue from North America, which accounts for over a third of total revenue, decline 25 percent from the first quarter. UBS analyst Angeline Sedita was expecting a 40 percent decline. Continued...