More money on unconventional gas

Schlumberger’s $11bn acquisition of Smith International is big news in the oilfield services sector, and Cyrus Sanati thinks it’s all about unconventional gas:
“There is I don’t think any doubt that long-term shale gas is going to be one of the big new energy sources both in the U.S. and overseas,” Andrew Gould, Schlumberger’s chief executive, said in a conference call with analysts on Monday. “Smith’s capacity to serve that market in North America is of great interest to me.”
Like Exxon’s purchase of XTO, I suspect that the real long-term value here is in exporting unconventional gas technology outside North America, where its potential has barely been tapped. And as a service provider, Schlumberger may be even better positioned than an oil major like Exxon, given the increasing clout of national oil companies, resource nationalism and the increasing difficulty of acquiring underlying resource rights in many countries.

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