Halliburton Co. said yesterday its second-quarter profit tum­bled 48 per cent as sluggish exploration and production activity crimped results.

The oilfield services company said net income fell to $262 million, or 29 cents per share. That compared with $504 million a year ago. Revenue slipped 22 per cent to $3.5 billion.

Halliburton kicked off the earnings period for the oil and gas sector. Most forecasts predict signifi­cantly lower year-over-year results for producers and service companies.

Halliburton chairman and CEO Dave Lesar cited natural gas in particular as a drag. Prices have fallen from double-digit levels a year ago to around $4 per 1,000 cubic feet of late.