Oilfield services: a guide to top services and the global service providers

Oilfield services: a guide to top services and the global service providers

Jun 5, 2019

Obviously, you realize how much the Oil & Gas industry takes up from the world economy and business.

Some world’s economies are associated with the prosperity of the industry.

Recently, Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and UAE represented reliable examples for this notion.

Moreover, the industry is thought to be a decisive factor in politics game and a powerful card for decision making countries.

In extreme scenarios, the motive for possession of Oil and Gas has led to some of today’s wars.

This influence comes from the vitality and indispensability of such a resource for the continuity and flourishing of human life.

In a closer look at the industry, Oil and Gas acquisition is concerned with dozens of processes and operations.

Throughout this guide, let me introduce you to a common terminology within the industry; oilfield services.

Upon your understanding of what oilfield services are, you will get enlightened to key processes involved in the industry. Furthermore, I will introduce you to key world players in that vast sector.

What are oilfield services?

Before we go to understand the concept behind oilfield services, let us state some fundamentals.

First of all, you need to know that oil extracted from beneath the earth gets multi-processed till it ends up with finished products.

Over these processes: Three stages are meant to take place as the following



This stage includes early processes of oil exploration and extraction. First, broad researches for underwater or underground oil take place, which is oil exploration.

Later on, wells are drilled into the targeted sites to recover the precious oil, known as the oil extraction process.


This stage is featured with activities such as transportation, storage, and processing of the extracted oil.


This stage involves a range of various missions. First, delivered oil is meant to be refined and purified in order to be convenient for manufacturing.

Refinery processes include distilling, cracking, reforming, treating and blending.

One more goal of this stage is setting the marketing strategy for the petroleum products resulting from it. Also, a transportation plan for these products is discussed and worked out during this stage.

So what all this is meant to do with oilfield services?

Oilfield services are much concerned with activities taking place during the upstream stage.

They help with setting up wells at Oil & Gas sites. More specifically, they contribute to the manufacturing, maintenance and repair processes of equipment associated with oil exploration and extraction.

Companies involved in oilfield services offer their solutions in areas such as:

Seismic Testing

This kind of tests is used to evaluate the geological structure beneath the surface and its workability for oil excavations.


Transport Services

In order to place both land and water rigs in oil sites, transport services need to occur earlier than the actual work.

Directional Services

To your surprise, Not all of the oil wells are drilled straight down, even some of the oil services companies are now specialized in horizontal or angled drilling.

Commissioning, Zoning, Permitting, & Construction Support

In some firms, multiple wells are used to be in operation. In order to maintain high performance and quality, they separate the wells needed to be first drilled from the ones require maintenance and improvement.

Plug & Abandonment

By definition, “Plug and Abandonment (P&A) is what it sounds like, the plugging of part or all of an oil or natural gas well. There are permanent abandonment wells where the well in question is plugged with the intent of never working on it again.”

Sometimes wells are temporarily plugged and equipment is removed with the intent of coming back to operate the well again within a matter of weeks or months once financing is secured, field development, or oil price changes.

P&A services as it is sometimes referred is a sometimes under-estimated area of potential cost for a natural gas or oil and gas investor.

Environmental Remediation:

In case the drilling did not go well, the area surrounding the well may get impacted seriously. This service ensures that state or federal laws are followed to treat the resulted damage.

Hazardous Waste Removal:

This service is obviously concerned with getting rid of the industry’s waste. This removal usually takes place in a way that is friendly to the environment.

Some firms choose to do this task on their own. On the other hand, some companies offer their service to do it, which are recognized as environmental remediation contractors.

Auction Services

General Maintenance

Obviously, this service assures that the well is in good conditions the same as the equipment.

Equipment Sales & Rentals

This service is not so prevailed in the industry, however, it definitely exists. Some companies have specialized in the manufacturing and sales/rental of equipment involved in the industry.

Corrosion Services

Corrosion of drilling equipment is an inevitable feature in the industry that needs to be continually under control.

Therefore, firms associated with corrosion management services are so common and recognized in the oil and gas industry.

Petroleum Cargo Inspection

This service is responsible for monitoring the quality and quantity of the petroleum shipments. The monitoring processes extend to atmospheric measuring, sample testing, and cargo investigations.

Completion Services

In order to maximize the hydrocarbons extraction, completions services such as flow testing, completion fluids, and frac stacks are implemented.

Oil Refining

This kind of service is limited to giant players in the industry due to its extreme cost and needs.

Wireline Services

This service is of great prominence to well owners and investors to analyze and record the geological formations. That is achieved with methods such as openhole, borehole seismic and cased-hole logging.

Nitrogen Services

Nitrogen is involved in providing a wide range of solutions and service in operating wells. Examples of these solutions are nitrogen drying, cooling, purging, and pipe freezing.

Coiled Tubing

coiled tubing serves as a reliable method for well intervention. That is due to its functionality in several potential drawbacks during the upstream stage in the oil patch.

Coiled tubing provides effective solutions for problems associated with processes such as; milling, drilling, rock fracturing, sidetracking, production tubing, and sand control.

Coiled tubing pipes are also privileged to function so properly with the same efficiency on both offshore and onshore oil well locations.

World’s key players that provide oilfield services

Since the Oil and Gas industry is constantly growing day after day, more businesses are heading to it.

The world’s continuous search and consumption of oil and gas products make the industry more profitable and tempting for money men.

However, some corporates have already established a worldwide reputation and built up solid loyalty with significant clients and governorates.

Examples of such companies are Schlumberger, Halliburton, and Helmerich & Payne.

Let me get you much closer to some of the leading companies of the industry and their most remarkable features.

  1. Schlumberger

Here I am introducing you to the world’s top provider in the area of oilfield services.

Schlumberger, The Houston based company offers its services in around 85 countries with 100.000 employers descending from 140 different nationalities.

However, Schlumberger has spotted its focus in a particular market which is the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The Giant Company has been involved in many gigantic projects within the region for decades.

You may be wondering by now what makes Schlumberger dominate the Oil & Gas market among many other competitors?

According to an article published at oilandgasmiddleeast, the company’s superiority comes from their expansion strategy that is essentially built upon mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

“The merger with Cameron last year, the purchase of Peak Well Systems in January this year, and the joint-venture with rival Weatherford (named OneStim) for the North American market, are among the significant acquisitions Schlumberger has made in recent times, ensuring that the company increases its reach in the global oilfield services market with every addition to its portfolio.”

Furthermore, Schlumberger is best known for its tendency to integrate intelligence and technology excessively in their products.

For instance, the OptiDrill real-time drilling intelligence service is classified as a remarkable contribution by Schlumberger to Oil & Gas industry. This masterpiece helps to minimize risk and increase efficiency during drilling.

Also, the system affords examination of potential hazards; hence, drillers receive quick guidance on how to reduce severe downhole dynamics.


  1. Baker Hughes by GE Oil & Gas

Back in 2017, the Oil and Gas industry witnessed the birth of a new giant player regarding oilfield service providers.

Global headlines have announced the acquisition of Baker Hughes by GE Oil & Gas. Soon after it, the company was ranked the world’s second-largest oilfield services provider.

Baker Hughes used to have a shining history with major national oil companies (NOC) as well as international oil company (IOC) located in the Middle East.

This bright record of complex but successful projects extends to about 80 years with a regional labor force of 6000.

Throughout its Middle East projects, BHGE focused their interest on wells that were no longer productive upon their initial completion.

As stated in oilandgasmiddleeast article,

BHGE worked with the operator to develop a solution using its proprietary PulsFrac dynamic event modeling software and perforating services to re-complete this challenging well, getting it back online to start producing thousands of barrels of oil equivalent a day.


Top oilfield services exporting countries

As stated earlier, you and I can obviously agree upon the increasing world dependence on oil and its corresponding products.

Hence; corporates and governments spend a relatively huge portion of their budget on enhancing their oil and petroleum outputs.

Surely, by now you can add oilfield services as a major element to maximize the oil production.

A recent 2017 statistic on worldtopexporters has shown the superiority of some Arabian Gulf countries of Oil export market.

Saudi Arabia led the scene by around 15% of the world’s exports of crude oil.

Russia comes second due to the huge oil transactions implemented by the giant Gazprom.

Iraq, Canada, and the UAE are recognized among the leading exports by percentages of 7.3%, 6.4%, and 5.9% respectively.

To Conclude

Oilfield services is a major topic under the scope of The Oil & Gas industry.

Mainly, Oilfield services are associated with processes taking place during the upstream stage.

Oilfield services companies ensure the proper arrangement of the well before extracting oil. They also set plans for the placing of rigs and other equipment at onshore and offshore sites.

One more common mission that goes under oilfield services is the delicate maintenance and repair of equipment involved in excavations.

Providers for such services have been in business for decades since the beginning of The Oil & Gas industry.

Schlumberger and Baker Hughes GE companies have been crowned on the top of the business. However, many other providers exist and now doing their best to get a share of the vast market.

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