WPC 2021: Baker Hughes sees ample oil supply, countering Halliburton’s prediction

David Wethe and Simon Casey 12/7/2021

HOUSTON (Bloomberg) - A day after Halliburton Co. warned of an imminent oil shortage, larger oilfield rival Baker Hughes Co. offered a sunnier outlook.

“We don’t see a shortage at the moment,” Lorenzo Simonelli, chief executive officer at the world’s No. 2 oilfield contractor, said Tuesday in an interview at the World Petroleum Congress in Houston. “We’ll see how the demand continues to improve, but I do see countries such as Saudi Arabia and also UAE having the ability to increase their production.”

Baker Hughes is gearing up for a 20% increase in North American oilfield activity in 2022 and a rise of at least 15% elsewhere, he said. The outlook is predicated on assumptions that crude will fetch between $70 and $85 a barrel.  

There’s a “belief from all the players that this is the right range,” Simonelli said.

Halliburton CEO Jeff Miller told an audience at the Houston confab a day earlier that seven years of lowered investment is leading the world into an imbalance where “we’ll see a buyer looking for a barrel of oil as opposed to a barrel of oil looking for a buyer.”

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