Weatherford to Be Ready for Iraq Fields by July

21 April 2010 – Houston Chronicle

As oil and gas operators ramp up service contract offerings in Iraq to begin developing the country’s vast, war-ravaged oil reserves, Weatherford Chief Executive Bernard Duroc-Danner said Tuesday in a conference call with analysts, the company has established nine rigs operating on the ground in Iraq with 1,000 employees who would begin work by July.

The Swiss-based oil field services company reported Tuesday a loss of $40 million for the first quarter, or 5 cents a share, compared with income of $164.8 million, or 24 cents a share, a year earlier.

The loss was largely due to the devaluation of Venezuelan currency and a $38 million charge related to a supplemental executive retirement plan.

Revenue increased 4 percent to $2.33 billion, compared with $2.26 billion in the same period a year ago, thanks to improvement in its North American markets.

Weatherford, which has about 2,500 employees in Houston, said revenue from its North America market increased 6 percent to $891  million, compared with a year ago. Versus the fourth quarter, revenue rose 21 percent, in tandem with the rising rig count on the continent.

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