NEW YORK (AFP) – US oil services company Baker Hughes said Friday it was in preliminary talks with Halliburton on a possible merger, confirming media reports on the negotiations.
In a brief statement, Baker Hughes, the world’s third-biggest company in the oil field services industry by market capitalisation, said the discussions “may or may not lead to any transaction” with Halliburton Company, the world’s second-largest in the sector.
The announcement comes with oil prices at their lowest levels since 2010.
That could force oil companies to trim their exploration operations, dealing a blow to subcontractors like Baker Hughes and Halliburton.
Baker Hughes shares shot up 15 per cent Thursday on the first word of the talks, raising its market value to $25.4 billion.
Halliburton has a market capitalisation of $45.5 billion, while the world’s leader in the field, Schlumberger, has one of $122 billion.