“I love the market outlook for U.S. unconventionals,” said Dave Lesar, Halliburton's president, chairman and CEO, on a conference call. “We don’t want to give up our market share there.”
The company decided to accelerate the pace at which it is bringing field equipment back online more quickly than it expected at the start of the quarter, which could result in higher costs and pressure on margins, Lesar said.
A part of that is the hiring activity, of which a "vast majority" is for field employees, a Halliburton spokeswoman said, though the company declined to comment on where in the U.S. the employees will be based. The employees are being deployed to operate the equipment Halliburton is bringing back to the market, Lesar said.
That means increased hiring and training costs before the company can realize any increased revenue, but Halliburton plans on “trading short-term market pain to maintain market share to get long-term margin gain,” Lesar said.
There are other places the company has seen costs increasing, too. Companies up the supply chain from Halliburton have been raising their own prices, Lesar said. But he is confident that market fundamentals will bring things back into balance, he said.
On the bright side, Halliburton managed to secure work from an independent oil company at five deepwater rigs, and the company's second-quarter revenues should increase over those of the first quarter, according to information released on the call.
Halliburton recently lost its CFO as Mark McCollum stepped down from the position earlier this month and took the top spot as CEO at Weatherford International PLC (NYSE: WFT). The company also reported a net loss of $5.76 billion for 2016.