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Oilfield firm Baker Hughes beats profit estimates on international demand, LNG bets

LNG 2023 energy trade show in Vancouver

(Reuters) -U.S. oilfield technology firm Baker Hughes beat Wall Street estimates for fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday, powered by strong demand for its services and equipment from LNG producers, as well as offshore and international markets.

The company concludes fourth-quarter reports from the world's top oilfield services providers. International demand also helped rivals SLB and Halliburton beat estimates amid slowing activity in the U.S. shale region.

International rig count, an indicator of future production, stood at 948 on an average in 2023, 11.4% higher than a year earlier, as per Baker Hughes data, while U.S. rig count fell 4.4% to 689.

Baker Hughes reported a 15% rise in international revenue for its oilfield services segment, while North America revenue slipped 1%.

Revenue from its industrial and energy technology segment jumped 24% to $2.88 billion.

The company has also benefited from equipment supply contracts from new LNG producing facilities as energy firms are betting on long-term demand for the super chilled commodity.

An "unprecedented surge" in LNG projects coming online from 2025 is set to add more than 250 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year of new capacity by 2030, the International Energy Agency said in October.

On an adjusted basis, the company posted net income of 51 cents per share for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with the average analysts' estimate of 48 cents, according to LSEG data.

Shares were marginally higher after the bell.

(Reporting by Sourasis Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)