• 4 minutes 5 Tweets That Change The World?
  • 7 minutes Trump Tariffs NOT China's Biggest concern. Chinese Shadow Banking Bigger. What is Shadow Banking You Ask ?
  • 11 minutes Wonders of US Shale: US Shale Benefits: The U.S. leads global petroleum and natural gas production with record growth in 2018
  • 15 minutes Glory to Hong Kong
  • 7 hours Trump will capitulate on the trade war
  • 4 hours The power of propaganda has no boundaries: Which country has larger territory US od China
  • 11 hours China's Blueprint For Global Power
  • 6 hours Support Held. Back in UGAZ
  • 10 hours Any difference btw Hunter Biden on BOD of Ukraine Company vs. Qatar bailout of Kushner Real Estate 666 Fifth Ave ?
  • 13 hours PETROLEUM for humanity 
  • 2 hours Iranian Oil Tanker struck by missiles off Jeddah
  • 5 hours Crazy Stories From Round The World
  • 12 hours ISIS Prisoners Escape Syria Camp After Turkish Shelling. Woohoo!
  • 15 hours How The US Quietly Lost The 1st Amendment
  • 16 hours Leftists crying to make oil patch illegal friendly: 'Broken system' starves U.S. oil boom of immigrant workers: CONGRESS DO YOUR JOBS INSTEAD OF PANDERING!
  • 8 hours China 2019 - Orwell was 35 years out
  • 10 hours Total SA In Expansion: $600 million For India's Adani Gas
Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy

Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com

More Info

Premium Content

Oilfield Services Facing Years Of Decline

Oil field services companies are in for a rough year.

The firms that provide the critical services for oil drilling are often not the ones that make headlines. But they are on the front lines making sure everything runs smoothly. That includes everything from drill equipment, to rigs, lodging, well completions, frac sand, transportation, and more.

Much has been made about the pain that oil production companies are going through. The oil majors like ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell have made massive cuts to their capital spending as a result of low oil prices. But once oil prices rebound, their revenues will rise in concert with the price of WTI and Brent. Related: Low Oil Prices Not Enough To Kill Off Oil Sands, Yet

However, for the services firms, relief may not arrive this year – even if oil prices rise. That is because their balance sheets rise and fall with drilling activity, rather than the price of oil (although they are strongly correlated). With huge holes to plug in corporate balance sheets, drilling activity will not pick up right away even if oil prices rise. Oil executives will likely remain cautious, and take a more conservative approach to spending and drilling.

That means there will be a lot of pain for oil field services companies for the foreseeable future. BP has cancelled several rig contracts with services firms Ensco and Seadrill Partners for its Gulf of Mexico projects. Breaking the contract cost BP a $160 million termination fee in each case – no doubt a decent severance for Ensco and Seadrill, but a signal that BP will not return to drilling anytime soon. Related: Saudi Influence On Oil Markets Slipping

Transocean has been forced to cold-stack some of its rigs, and it announced that it was scrapping two more offshore rigs in a recent filing. It may yet idle 18 to 22 more rigs. Global Hunters Securities projects that the downturn for oil field services companies like Transocean could last another two years. That is evidenced by BP’s contract cancellation for rigs that were leased through the summer of 2016.

Worse for the industry is the fact that prices for their services have cratered. With producers slamming on the breaks, they are squeezing the services firms. Contract prices for rigs are way down and producers are negotiating lower and lower prices. With little option, the services companies like Transocean have no other alternative but to accept lower prices for their rigs. Related: Oil Prices To Fall Or Fly Depending On Iranian Nuclear Talks

As a result, Moody’s says that the services industry is facing a “deep, protracted cyclical downturn.” More asset write-downs are expected, and more firms will scrap an increasing number of rigs. While upstream producers may fare better with an oil price rebound, oil field services companies are unlikely to see the upside in the next two years or so.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage



Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play