Nabors earnings rise after last year’s loss

HOUSTON – Nabors Industries collected $61 million in profit in the third quarter on higher North American drilling activity, a year after it faced losses on asset impairments and other charges.

The Bermuda-based oil driller, which has its main offices in Houston, saw its earnings rise to 19 cents a share in the July-September period, compared with a loss of $105.4 million, or 30 cents a share, in the same period last year.  Revenues increased from $1.55 billion to $1.81 billion.

Both rig activity and prices for using drilling rigs have improved in the North America as demand for its pad-capable walking rigs rises in the Permian Basin and the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas, the company said.

Its completion and production services business, which handles the post-drilling processes used to extract oil and gas, saw sales increase 19 percent to $612 million, though activity was offset by two Pacific hurricanes crossing into Texas in the third quarter.

“While we are acutely aware of the potential ramifications of further downside in commodity prices, our nine new contract awards are indicative of today’s strategic planning by several of our key customers,” Nabors chairman, president and CEO Anthony Petrello said in a written statement. Interest in Nabors’ walking rigs “remains high as these rigs consistently outperform.”

Nabors shares rose 35 cents in after-hours trading Tuesday to $19 on the New York Stock Exchange.