Plunging oil prices are rattling the oil markets, but that doesn’t worry Jeff Miller. He’s CEO of Halliburton Company (HAL), one of the world’s largest oil field service companies. Miller feels good with oil prices now trading around $70 a barrel, saying “the industry is healthy in that price range.”
Ahead of an important OPEC meeting on June 22, oil prices have tumbled as Saudi Arabia and other oil producers have been talking about increasing production. Miller has a different take on those developments.
“Supply and demand look like it’s back in balance,” he explains. “What you see is a little bit of reaction to, at least today, of unrest globally, but the fundamentals are what seem to be in place. And that’s encouraging and gives me a lot of comfort that we trade in this sort of $60 range, $60 to $70.”
Halliburton has benefited from the recent run up in oil prices. Revenues surged 30 percent to $20 billion in 2017 driven by strong drilling demand in North America where the Houston-based company is a major provider of technical products and services in shale production. That strong performance also boosted Halliburton’s ranking on the Fortune 500 jumping 27 spots to number 146 on the list of America’s largest companies.
Thanks to the stronger business activity, Halliburton is also hiring again—a sign that it has recovered from what Miller describes as “the deepest downturn we’ve ever seen.” During that oil recession, the company laid off 30,000 workers, or 40 percent of its workforce.
Watch the video above for more from our interview with Miller.