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Houston, we have new headquarters

Marketplace Staff Mar 12, 2007

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Houston-based oil services giant Halliburton is moving east to Dubai. It plans to move its corporate headquarters where it may list its shares on the Emirates’ stock exchange.

The company said it wanted to position itself to better gain contacts in the oil-rich Middle East.

That makes sense to Rob Laughlin, energy broker at Mann Financial in London.

ROB LAUGHLIN: Nearly half of their revenue has no come from the Eastern sector. That’s where they want to diversify from so moving headquarters, certainly in a marketing role, would make common sense.

Democratic Senator from Vermont Patrick Leahy called the move an insult to U.S. soldiers and taxpayers who paid the tab for the company’s no-bid contracts.

But Laughlin thinks Congress might be partly to blame for Halliburton’s move.

LAUGHLIN: Some of those Senators involved perhaps should be waking up and smelling the roses. You know, the growth sector of the oil business is more over in the Eastern sector. Because of the refusal of the American government to spend much money on either updating or certainly building new refineries, you’ve got to query what can a company Halliburton actually do?

Representative Henry Waxman is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee. He said they might hold a hearing on the implications of the move.

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