The Industry Handbook: The Oil Services Industry
By Investopedia Staff A A A
There is no doubt that the oil/energy industry is extremely large. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), fossil fuels (including coal, oil and natural gas) makes up more than 85% of the energy consumed in the U.S. as of 2008. Oil supplies 40% of U.S. energy needs. (Visit the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Sources information page for more insight.)
Before petroleum can be used, it is sent to a refinery where it is physically, thermally and chemically separated into fractions and then converted into finished products. About 90% of these products are fuels such as gasoline, aviation fuels, distillate ...view middle of the document...
(For related reading, see Unearth Profits In Oil Exploration And Production.)
In the drilling industry, there are several different types of rigs, each with a specialized purpose. Some of these include:
* Land Rigs - Drilling depths ranges from 5,000 to 30,000 feet.
* Submersible Rigs - Used for ocean, lake and swamp drilling. The bottom part of these rigs are submerged to the sea's floor and the platform is on top of the water.
* Jack-ups - this type of rig has three legs and a triangular platform which is jacked-up above the highest anticipated waves.
* Drill Ships - These look like tankers/ships, but they travel the oceans in search of oil in extremely deep water.
(For more information on the drilling industry, check out on the Rigzone website.)
* Oilfield Services - Oilfield service companies assist the drilling companies in setting up oil and gas wells. In general these companies manufacture, repair and maintain equipment used in oil extraction and transport. More specifically, these services can include:
* Seismic Testing - This involves mapping the geological structure beneath the surface.
* Transport Services - Both land and water rigs need to be moved around at some point in time.
* Directional Services - Believe it or not, all oil wells are not drilled straight down, some oil services companies specialize in drilling angled or horizontal holes.
The energy industry is not any different than most commodity-based industries as it faces long periods of boom and bust. Drilling and other service firms are highly dependent on the price and demand for petroleum. These firms are some of the first to feel the effects of increased or decreased spending. If oil prices rise, it takes time for petroleum companies to size up land, setup rigs, take out the oil, transport it and refine it before the oil company sees any profit. On the other hand, oil services and drilling companies are the first on the scene when companies decide to start exploring.
The refining business is not quite as fragmented as the drilling and services industry. This sector is dominated by a small handful of large players. In fact, much of the energy industry is ruled by large, integrated oil companies. Integrated refers to the fact that many of these companies look after all factors of production, refining and marketing.
For the most part, refining is a slow and stable business. The large amounts of capital investment means that very few companies can afford to enter this business. This handbook will try to focus more on oil equipment and services such as drilling and support services.
BTUs: Short for "British Thermal Units." This is the amount of heat required to increase the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Different fuels have different heating values; by quoting the price per BTU it is easier to compare different types of energy.
Dayrates: Oil and...