Halliburton CEO addresses macro issues, digital options

By Luke Geiver | September 10, 2018

The North American shale scene is looking the best it has in four years, according to Jeff Miller, CEO of Halliburton. Speaking to investors at a recent Barclay’s event, Miller said the combination of economic growth, affordable fuel prices and other factors have contributed to the macro-level global demand for hydrocarbons and the services required to produce them.

North America is now a consistent part of the global supply and demand picture—and no longer a swing producer. The region represents the largest market in the world for oil service providers an over the long-term, the market continues to appeal. However, short-term issues related to takeaway capacity, workforce availability and service cost fluctuations could temporarily stymie U.S. production growth, Miller said. By the back half of 2019, production growth and service activity will ramp back up as pipelines are built.

In the short term, operators will look to develop infill wells, drill but not complete wells or reallocate capital to plays not impacted by takeaway constraints like those seen in the Permian, he told investors. “We are still in the early innings of a strong North American cycle,” he added. “North American operators are smart and adaptive.”

For Miller, Halliburton’s new push on digital technology shows how the Houston-based company is also adapting to a changing oilfield. The company recently held a conference to showcase its digital collaborations and services to customers and the response was telling, Miller said. Attendees were there because they wanted to learn what they could be doing with digital, according to Miller.

Halliburton debuted its new trademarked Prodigi intelligent fracturing service that uses algorithms and big data capabilities to perform hydraulic fracturing services in a real-time, data-driven approach. The system helps to improve treatment volumes and fracture area by using data inputs gathering in real-time. “I really believe we have it right on the digital alignment,” Miller said.