Profit-taking hit oilfield service and drilling stocks on Monday as U.S. crude oil prices shed
over a dollar to dip below $30 a barrel for the first time since February 28. On Monday afternoon, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange's oilfield service index was off 4.82 points or 4.6 percent at 100.03, while U.S. April crude oil futures were $1.23 lower at $29.68 a barrel.
Halliburton Co., the world's biggest oilfield service provider, was off more than five percent at 36-3/8 while Schlumberger Ltd., the industry's No. 2, was down 3-12/16 at 70-9/16.
Transocean Sedco Forex Inc., the world's largest offshore drilling company, saw its stock trade 3-5/8 lower at 39-3/8, a loss of more than eight percent on the day.
One analyst said the oilfield services sector had become susceptible to profit-taking after prices ran up sharply in line with rising crude oil prices in February and early March. However, the analyst said he did not expect stocks within the sector to enter a sustained period of decline.