Schlumberger signals improving international drilling activity


Adds forecast, shares, background

April 23 (Reuters) - Schlumberger NV SLB.N top boss Olivier Le Peuch said on Friday he expects international activity to ramp-up through the end of this year and beyond, helping the company grow revenue outside North America by double-digits in the second half of the year.

The oilfield service provider's shares rose 2% in trading before the bell.

Schlumberger, which has been selling assets in North America to focus more on international markets, is also benefiting from an inflection in global drilling activity.

While international revenue declined 3%, the company said the "seasonal dip" was less pronounced than prior years.

Worldwide, rig count has risen about 11.5% to 1,231 rigs in the quarter to March, according to Baker Hughes data.

"With the gradual return of oil demand, we anticipate North America activity to level off at production maintenance levels, while international activity is poised to ramp up through year-end 2021 and beyond," Le Peuch said in a statement.

Net income, excluding charges & credits, was $299 million, or 21 cents per share, for the three months ended March 31, compared with $309 million, or 22 cents per share, in the fourth quarter.

(Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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