Houston-based Permian operators Patterson-UTI and NexTier said Thursday they will merge in an all-stock transaction creating a $5.4 billion oilfield services firm. The deal combines Patterson-UTI’s land drilling business with NexTier’s well completion operations. Analysts told Reuters the company, to be called Patterson-UTI Energy, will be the largest pressure pumper by capacity in North America – slightly larger than Halliburton. Patterson-UTI shareholders will own 55 percent. Andy Hendricks, president and CEO of Patterson-UTI, will serve as CEO, and Robert Drummond, president and CEO of NexTier, will be board vice chair. Hendricks told reporters the new company will be one of the largest, if not the largest, employers in Permian Basin.