Schlumberger NV, the world's largest oilfield services firm, announced a boost in fourth-quarter profit on Friday, owing to increased demand for its services and equipment due to higher crude and natural gas prices.

On the basis of vaccine-fueled demand recovery and limited market supply, oil prices increased by over 50% last year and are now trading at seven-year highs.

"Without more COVID-related disruption, oil consumption is likely to surpass pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year and to strengthen further in 2023," Schlumberger Chief Executive Officer Olivier Le Peuch stated.

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Strong offshore and land drilling activity, as well as an increase in exploration data licensing for the US Gulf of Mexico and Permian region, led to a 13 % increase in income in North America.

In pre-market trade, shares were basically steady at $37.13. Brent crude prices fell 1.7 % to $86.87 a barrel on Friday.

According to Refinitiv IBES, Schlumberger's fourth-quarter adjusted net income increased to $587 million, or 41 cents per share, beating Wall Street projections of 39 cents per share. Last year's earnings of $309 million, or 22 cents per share, were surpassed. Revenue of $6.23 billion also exceeded experts' expectations of $6.09 billion in the fourth quarter.

According to Baker Hughes data, the global rig count was 1,563 at the end of the fourth quarter, up from 1,104 in 2020.