** Jefferies says E&Ps’ messages on capital discipline so far have pointed to U.S. spending falling in H2 vs H1, while productivity suggests a more subdued landscape for offshore activity
** Still service firms can save capex, Jefferies says, keeping its overall ‘neutral’ sector view and favoring stock picking
** Brokerage cuts Schlumberger to ‘hold’ from ‘buy,’ saying its “distinctiveness is elusive for now” and says ‘buy’-rated Baker Hughes is its top large-cap pick
** Also cuts Helmerich and Payne and Precision Drilling to ‘hold’, citing a flat US rig count outlook
** Jefferies upgrades Oceaneering International and Keane Group to ‘buy’ from ‘hold’ and Superior Energy Services to ‘hold’ from ‘underperform’
** Brokerage says pumpers are finding cost savings and lower demand mean lowers capex, naming FRAC as a new top pick
** Says ‘buy’-rated Patterson-UTI Energy is also a new top pick and along with FRAC replaces Helmerich and Payne and Apergy (Reporting by Savio D’Souza)
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