The worlds second largest oilfield service company closed 2019 with a $1.7B loss and disclosed this week it had a $2.2B charge to 2019 earnings.

Houston based Halliburton attributed the bulk of its end of year loss to writing down pressure pumping and legacy drilling equipment, in addition to employee severance packages and other costs.

These write downs were to service the U.S. shale industry - one that the company's CEO says is facing its greatest challenge since the 2015 downturn.

Halliburton's CEO Jeff Miller says he believes shale oil fracking 'has peaked' and is 'in a period of sustained contraction'.

However, in a conference call on Tuesday, Miller told analysts and investors that "2019 solidified the pivot from growth to capital discipline in North America," and that "As unconventionals enter maturation phase, Halliburton is committed to the North American market."

While Miller's assessment of North America may cast some doubt, there appears to be improving demand internationally as larger oil companies make a slow recovery from depressed crude prices several years earlier.

However, Halliburton - as opposed to competitors like Baker Hughes or Schlumberger - has historically generated more of its sales in the U.S. and Canada.

"In 2020, we expect our international growth to continue and international margins to improve", Miller said.

The company has cut thousands of jobs in the U.S. and recently scrapped unwanted fracking equipment to cut spending.

img: Halliburton