Dubai: US oil services firm Halliburton said yesterday it was looking for a suitable site to build its corporate headquarters in Dubai and would hire 14,000 people globally.

Halliburton is tracking about 60 projects worth $80 billion (Dh294.24 billion) across the world for which it may compete over the next five years.

The company is also looking for investors to take a stake in it.

"We would be interested to find a set of investors or investor interested in taking a longer-term position in the company," Halliburton chief executive officer Dave Lesar told reporters yesterday.

The New York-listed Halliburton plans to have a secondary listing on a Middle East stock exchange.

Lesar said the bourse and timing had not been finalised.

"We do have discussions with regulators about the process. We will look at a dual listing at some point of time," he said.

The company is boosting its presence in Dubai to target the oil services business in what is termed in the energy industry as "eastern hemisphere," the geographical region outside the Americas.

Ahmad Lotfy, a senior vice-president of the company, said 60 per cent of all mega oilfield projects were in the eastern hemisphere.

"The Middle East is the biggest portion of that," he said.

The spending shift in the next five years will mean that 70 per cent of new contracts will come from the eastern hemisphere, Lesar said.

Last year, 38 per cent of the firm's revenues came from outside the Americas. Lesar said the target was to grow that business to 50 per cent of the total.

Halliburton will hire 6,000 people outside the Americas out of 14,000 it is hiring this year.

Halliburton currently employs 3,500 people in the Middle East.


Halliburton said it was in discussions with energy companies to enter Iraq, but would wait for the security situation to improve before putting its personnel on the ground.

"We are not doing any business in Iraq right now. However, we are in discussions with some customers that are thinking about going into Iraq and investing to develop some of the resources that are there. Collectively, we have to make sure that we are satisfied with the security situation," Lesar said, without identifying the firms.

With 115 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves, Iraq's oilfields present a lucrative opportunity to companies in upstream business. Officials have estimated Iraq needs to spend billions of dollars to develop its oilfields.

Headed by Vice-President Dick Cheney from 1995 to 2000, Halliburton is seen as having close ties with the administration of US President George W. Bush.

KBR, a Halliburton unit now separated from the company, received several big contracts from the US military following the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

"Certainly we have to deal with the [negative] perception of Halliburton in the marketplace and I am not naive about that," Lesar said, adding that the company can do this "better" after moving its corporate headquarters to Dubai.