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Halliburton profits take hit

City A.M. Reporter
US oilfield services giant Halliburton saw its second-quarter profit plunge 48 per cent yesterday as weak exploration and production activity, particularly in the US, hit its results.<br /><br />The group said net profit came in at $262m (&pound;159m), down from the $504m the company made in the same period last year. Sales slipped 22 per cent to $3.49bn.<br /><br />Chief executive David Lesar said there was unlikely to be any &ldquo;meaningful recovery&rdquo; in demand during the rest of the year.<br /><br />He said the fall in the price of natural gas in particular had been the main drag on earnings.<br /><br />Oil and natural gas producers began scaling back exploration and drilling operations last year as crude and gas prices tumbled. A year ago this month oil reached an all-time high of $147 a barrel. Also, cost-cutting steps by oil explorers have hit oilfield services companies hard.