Big oil service firm merger rocks the North Sea

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Norway’s oil industry is expected to be affected by the announcement this week that Halliburton, long a major player in the Norwegian oil service sector, was taking over its competitor Baker Hughes. The deal is valued at a dizzying USD 34.6 billon.

Halliburton and Baker Hughes have ranked as second- and third-largest respectively in the oil service business, after the world’s largest such firm, Schlumberger. Now Houston-based Halliburton will be much stronger in competition against Schlumberger. All three firms have been active in various jobs on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

The pending acquisition, subject to regulatory approval in the US, also is a sign of consolidation and cost-cutting efforts in the oil business as oil prices fall. A merger of Halliburton and Baker Hughes reportedly will result in billions of dollars worth of annual cost savings. staff