Halliburton Seeks Investors, Eyes $80 Billion in Projects

U.S. oil services firm Halliburton is looking for major investors to take a stake in the company as it eyes around $80 billion in projects worldwide over the next five years.

"One of my goals would be to find a set of investors or an investor interested in taking a longer-term investment in the company," Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar told reporters on Tuesday, when asked if the firm was searching for major investors as it expands outside the Americas.

Halliburton is tracking about 60 projects worldwide worth around $80 billion for which it may compete over the next five years, Lesar told a briefing in Dubai, out of a potential oil services project market of around $100 billion a year, he said.

Around 70% of that potential market is outside the Americas, which is why Lesar is moving to Dubai, he said. Halliburton is also setting up a corporate headquarters in Dubai.

"If you look at a map of global oil and gas reserves, the focus of our business and industry is clearly moving to this part of the world," he said.

The company aims to do 50% of its business in the eastern hemisphere, up from around 35% now, Lesar said. He declined to give a timeframe for meeting the target.

The oil services giant plans a secondary listing of its shares in the region. It has yet to decide on which bourse to list, but it could be on Dubai's exchange, Lesar said.

He said there were no tax implications for the company due to the move to Dubai. "We have been and continue to be a U.S. registered company," he said.

When the company announced Lesar was moving to Dubai in March, some U.S. politicians accused it of turning its back on a government that had been the source of much of its business.

Lesar said the negative media coverage generated by the company due to its ties to the current U.S. administration, would "cure itself in the very near future."

Vice President Dick Cheney was chief executive of Halliburton from 1995 to 2000. Former Halliburton unit KBR is the U.S. Pentagon's largest contractor in Iraq and has drawn scrutiny from auditors for the quality and pricing of its work for the U.S. army.

Halliburton aims to boost its number of employees worldwide by about 14,000 this year, Lesar said. During the first quarter it took on around 4,800, of which around 2,000 were outside the Americas.