The oilfield services industry has been around for decades. It started in World War II as a way for the United States military to protect its operations in the Middle East. In those days oil was a rare and precious commodity and it had to be handled with great care. Today oil plays a similar role in our daily lives but in a much safer fashion due to the advances in technology. That has allowed oilfield services companies to expand in many areas including petroleum exploration, which is one of the most basic aspects of their work. Perpetual change is taking place in oilfield services because of the development of new technologies such as fracking, horizontal drilling and other advanced methods that allow much greater efficiencies and minimize the risk of damage to the environment.
As a part of their work, oilfield services firms have the responsibility to hire workers who are highly trained and able to perform drilling on a wide variety of oil fields. What makes this so diverse group such a unique performer in the oil industry is its close relationship to oil industry producers. An executive from a top French oilfield services firm recently explained to an audience of scientists and engineers that oilfield services firms are at the very first step of a project’s pyramid of service and their main function is to choose and integrate new technologies into the project from the ground up. They then determine what type of technology will be best suited to the specific situation. One example of that may be fracking.
Shale oil extraction from shale, the primary source of natural gas in the U.S., has been viewed skeptically up until recently. Many in the industry saw this as a possibility only until the price of oil began to rise consistently. When the price of oil started to increase, oilfield services managers decided that it was time to reevaluate the exploration for more oil and gas deposits in order to maintain the current level of output. In order to do this, they need to better understand the geological and economic factors that affect the price of oil.
One factor that has had the biggest impact on oil prices is fracking. Fracking involves using high-pressure water, mixed with chemicals and sand at extremely high temperatures to open the pores in rocks underground. Once these pores are opened, oil and natural gas can be easily retrieved. Many in the industry still view fracking as a risky activity, but as a result, companies have invested more in fracking equipment in order to produce a higher volume of wells which leads to more drilling opportunities.
Another important component of the value chain for oilfield services firms lies in transportation. Offshore drilling requires ships that can safely carry large amounts of drilling equipment and supplies to remote areas that are not accessible by road or air. Since the transportation costs involved are so high, many producers choose to outsource the transportation of their drilling equipment to a company that specializes in marine transportation.
Along with the shipping of drilling equipment, oilfield services firms must also rent vehicles for their employees as well. This is especially true of trucking, as many companies only need to provide their own vehicles for employees and their staff members. These vehicles can range from personal cars to rigs that are complete with full kitchens, living quarters, and even showers. It all depends on the needs of the individual oilfield service provider and the size of the operation. Many larger oilfield service companies will have entire rigs running at one time, with dozens of employees on board.
Finally, there are two major companies that directly impact oilfield services firms – compressor manufacturers and pressure pumping services companies. compressor manufacturers typically make high quality industrial pressure pump compressors that are capable of powering both the oilfield services equipment as well as the heavy machinery that is used in drilling. These industrial compressors often have a long life span and can be purchased in a variety of different sizes. Many oilfield services firms will use these compressors on a daily basis to power everything from pumps to air compressors and even to help with wastewater treatment. Pressure pumping services companies, however, utilize the pressure pumping equipment in order to pump water and/or other fluids using a pipeline system.
All of the equipment and supplies that are used by oilfield services firms need to be regularly maintained in order to ensure that they are efficient and effective. Oilfield pumpers and pressure pumpers need to be cleaned and serviced on a regular basis to prevent damage or loss of efficiency. It is not uncommon for oilfield exploration companies to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on repairing and maintaining their pressure pumpers and compressors. In today’s tough economy, it is critical that oilfield exploration companies take every step necessary in order to ensure that their drilling rigs are producing the maximum amount of oil and gas, while minimizing potential environmental damage.