Halliburton CEO Moves To Dubai

Tuesday, March 13th 2007, 5:26 am
By: News On 6

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) _ Oil services giant Halliburton Co., incorporated in Duncan, Okla., in 1924, plans to move its corporate headquarters again _ this time from Houston to the Mideast financial powerhouse of Dubai.

Halliburton Chief Executive Dave Lesar announced the planned move on Sunday.

``Halliburton is opening its corporate headquarters in Dubai while maintaining a corporate office in Houston,'' spokeswoman Cathy Mann said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. ``The chairman, president and CEO will office from and be based in Dubai to run the company from the UAE.''

Erle P. Halliburton's oilfield services company began in Duncan in 1924. It moved its headquarters in 1961 to Dallas and later to Houston but remains Duncan's top employer, with about 2,400 workers at its manufacturing, technology center, field camps and administrative offices in the area.

It was not clear whether the company's Duncan operation would be impacted by the move, and a call to a company spokesperson on Monday was not immediately returned.

Lesar, speaking at an energy conference in Bahrain, said he will relocate to Dubai from Texas to oversee Halliburton's intensified focus on business in the Mideast and energy-hungry Asia, home to some of the world's most important oil and gas markets.

``As the CEO, I'm responsible for the global business of Halliburton in both hemispheres and I will continue to spend quite a bit of time in an airplane as I remain attentive to our customers, shareholders and employees around the world,'' Lesar said. ``Yes, I will spend the majority of my time in Dubai.''

Lesar's announcement appears to signal one of the highest-profile moves by a U.S. corporate leader to Dubai, an Arab boomtown where free-market capitalism has been paired with some of the world's most liberal tax, investment and residency laws.

``The eastern hemisphere is a market that is more heavily weighted toward oil exploration and production opportunities and growing our business here will bring more balance to Halliburton's overall portfolio,'' Lesar said.

In 2006, Halliburton _ once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney _ earned profits of $2.3 billion on revenues of $22.6 billion.

More than 38 percent of Halliburton's $13 billion oil field services revenue last year stemmed from sources in the eastern hemisphere, where the firm has 16,000 of its 45,000 employees.

Cheney was Halliburton's chief executive from 1995-2000 and the Bush administration has been accused of favoring the conglomerate with lucrative no-bid contracts in Iraq.

Federal investigators last month alleged Halliburton was responsible for $2.7 billion of the $10 billion in contractor waste and overcharging in Iraq.

Halliburton last month announced a 40-percent decline in fourth-quarter profit, despite heavy demand for its oil field equipment and personnel.