Top oilfield services provider Schlumberger NV on Thursday forecast a gradual rise in international spending this year, after posting a 20 percent drop in quarterly profit due to weak North America demand. The oilfield services sector bellwether said it expects a 7 to 8 percent increase in investments by oil producers in markets outside North America. "We continue to see clear signs that E&P investments are starting to normalize," Chief Executive Officer Paal Kibsgaard said in a statement, adding that international markets would need higher investments to keep production flat.
Confirmation of the visit follows speculation that Kim would soon reach out to a long-time ally after failing to get sanctions relief during his last nuclear talks with U.S. President Donald Trump in February. The Kremlin statement gave no date or location for the meeting, though there have been reports it could take place next week as Putin travels to China. The visit will be the North Korean leader’s first to Russia since taking power in 2011 and comes after Kim gave a lengthy speech in which he said he would give the U.S to the end of this year to come up with new proposals for future talks.
North Korea has called for US secretary of state Mike Pompeo to be removed from nuclear talks because of his reckless and immature behaviour, according to reports.The official KCNA news agency quoted Kwon Jong Gun, a senior foreign ministry official, as accusing Mr Pompeo of “fabricating stories like a fiction writer.”“Whenever Pompeo pokes his nose in, the talks go wrong without any results even from the point close to success,” Mr Kwon said.“I am afraid that, if Pompeo engages in the talks again, the table will be lousy once again and the talks will become entangled.“Therefore, even in the case of possible resumption of the dialogue with the US, I wish our dialogue counterpart would be not Pompeo but other person who is more careful and mature in communicating with us.”The statement was made shortly after North Korea announced that its supreme leader Kim Jong-un had overseen the testing of a new tactical guided weapon.It was the North’s first weapon’s test since negotiations over nuclear disarmament and US sanctions broke down at the second summit between Mr Kim and US President Donald Trump in February.Last week the North Korean leader announced that he would only consider a third summit if the US brought the “right attitude” to talks and changed its “hostile” policy, including tough sanctions, before the end of the year.On Monday, Mr Pompeo responded by saying that Mr Kim had promised to denuclearise during his first summit with Mr Trump and that officials were trying to “chart a path forward so we can get there.” The North Korean statement by Mr Kwon accused Mr Pompeo of “talking nonsense”.“We cannot be aware of Pompeo’s ulterior motive behind his self-indulgence in reckless remarks; whether he is indeed unable to understand words properly or just pretending on purpose,” said Mr Kwon.“However, it is a very dangerous situation if he really did not grasp the meaning. If his behaviour is intended, I think it is none other than silly calculation to be free from the constraint that the US should make a move until the end of the year, misrepresenting the meaning of our requirement as the finalization of the working level negotiation by the end of the year by help of his talented skill of fabricating stories like a fiction writer.”Mr Pompeo was also accused of “spouting reckless remarks hurting the dignity of our supreme leadership” – believed to be a reference to the secretary of state’s agreement that Mr Kim was a “tyrant”.Additional reporting by agencies
Boeing has conducted a final test flight of a 737 MAX model with an updated anti-stall system prior to its certification by aviation authorities, the aerospace manufacturer said Wednesday. CEO Dennis Muilenberg tweeted a video where he said the test flight was carried out on Tuesday, adding that test pilots have completed 120 flights totaling more than 203 hours of airtime with the software fix for the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). Investigators have zeroed in on the system as a factor behind the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes in October and in March respectively, killing nearly 350 people in total.
French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday hailed as "exemplary" hundreds of firefighters who saved Notre-Dame in the devastating blaze, as efforts intensified to ensure there was no further damage to the still fragile cathedral. Some 600 firefighters worked throughout the night Monday to put out the fire at the Paris landmark and prevent an even worse disaster, in a blaze that felled the spire and destroyed two-thirds of its roof. Sixty firefighters are still keeping a vigil at Notre-Dame to ensure no further fire erupts while France's culture minister warned that two gables and figurines perched high up in the building were still at risk of collapse inside.
The Florida teenager whose purported fascination with the 1999 Columbine school massacre sparked a massive hunt for her this week appears to have kept an online journal peppered with violent imagery and awash in despair, anger and suicidal thoughts. An online journal written by someone who identified herself as "Sol Pais" - the teenager who authorities said was found dead on Wednesday - included entries that alluded to "plans" that would lead to the author's death, though they did not describe specific threats against others. Pais, 18, was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on Wednesday, authorities said, days after she traveled to Denver from her home in Florida and bought a shotgun ahead of Saturday's 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Colorado.