Baker Hughes cooks up a baker's dozen of products and services for the global petroleum market. Through its Drilling and Evaluation segment, Baker Hughes makes products and services used to drill oil and natural gas wells. Through its Completion and Production segment, the company provides equipment and services used from the completion phase through the productive life of oil and natural gas wells. It also makes bits and drilling fluids and submersible pumps. Its Industrial service segment provides equipment and services for the refining, process, and pipeline industries. Since 1944 Baker Hughes has published a weekly report that counts active drilling rigs, and which serves as a barometer for the industry.
The booming North American contract drilling market (which saw a 60% increase in oil drilling in 2011, and a growth in liquid-rich natural gas drilling in shale formations) coupled with high oil prices resulted in a major surge of revenues for Baker Hughes that year. The increased activity and income from the BJ Services acquisition lifted the company's overall net income in 2011.
The BJ Services acquisition greatly boosted the company's revenues and income in 2010, which were also enhanced by high oil prices and the rebounding global economy, which generated stronger demand for oil and gas exploration and production activities.
The company has grown through product innovation (it developed the first oil well drill bit for rock in 1909), strategic alliances, and acquisitions.
In a major industry consolidation, in 2010 Baker Hughes acquired oil field services titan BJ Services for $6.9 billion. The acquisition expanded Baker Hughes' portfolio, adding pressure pumping to its product offering, giving it a stronger platform for international growth, and the ability to better compete for large integrated project contracts in the unconventional gas and deepwater markets. In particular, the purchase strengthened the company's integrated services and expanded its reservoir capabilities.
In 2010 subsidiaries of Baker Hughes sold to Superior Energy Services the firm's Gulf of Mexico stimulation and sand control business for $55 million. Baker Hughes was required to divest the business by the Department of Justice as a condition of its purchase of BJ Services.
Expanding its presence in Canada, in 2010 Baker Hughes acquired oil field equipment supplier Tanroc. It further expanded its global footprint with the opening of an oilfield services plant in Australia in 2010, and a drill bit manufacturing facility in Saudi Arabia in 2011.
In 2012 Baker Hughes launched a new service to identify potential drilling issues before they occur by pinpointing similar case histories in real-time. Baker Hughes' WellLink Radar Remote Drilling Advisory Service has remote service engineers monitor drilling operations while its DrillEdge software looks for patterns based on similar situations where problems have occurred in previously drilled wells.