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A new way forward with oilfield services

Oil Field Equipment & Services companies face a new reality—and a new threat to profitability


After one of the toughest and longest-lasting downturns in history, there are promising signs that the oil industry—at least in North America—is barreling back to growth. But for Oilfield Services companies, the picture isn’t all rosy. Changing supply curves, new competitors, and a now-constant state of market volatility requires them to squeeze every return they can from existing assets and investments. Those that boost their utilization will also boost their profitability. Those that don’t will find surviving the upturn as challenging as weathering the downturn.

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Oilfield services players are finding it hard to benefit from the emerging market upturn. That’s because:

  • The oilfield services market is more cost-focused and just half the size it was three years ago.
  • Capital investments declined by up to 70 percent in the latest downturn.
  • Asset utilization has declined significantly, and returns on those assets have plummeted.
These factors, coupled with low oil prices and now-constant market volatility, paint a bleak picture for oilfield services companies. To reset a course to profitability, they must figure out how to get more from their assets and workforces. And they need to do so now.


To reclaim profitability, oilfield services companies should focus on:
  • Cost-competitiveness. Define a winning strategy that is based on true differentiators and supported by effective cost-management practices.
  • Workforce productivity. Apply digital technologies to automate and augment tasks. Identify new roles to drive productivity and efficiencies.
  • Asset utilization. Assess the profitability potential of asset classes, identify how capabilities align with each, and then invest in solutions to improve visibility into asset performance.
  • Digital dominance. Integrated digital platforms and digital asset lifecycle management tools that boost decision-making and agility hold particular potential for oilfield services companies looking to unlock value.