“Oil field service” doesn’t exactly sound like something you need as a business owner outside of the petroleum industry, does it? True, it’s not likely that you’ll need an oil well drilled in your back yard. However, an oil field service company can perform a surprisingly wide range of work, and the equipment they carry can be put to other uses within industry. While large-scale companies are unlikely to do such work, smaller ones can be contracted for some of the services they can perform.
What is an Oil Field Service Company?
Broadly, oil field service companies are involved in the management and maintenance of oil and natural gas wells, both on land and offshore. The primary aspect of this in most people’s minds is renting or constructing the drilling rigs themselves. However, this is far from the only service these companies can provide. Geological surveying, seismic testing, transport of materials and waste, data management and more all play a part in oil field operations—in fact, about half of the work done in the US that falls under “oil field service” is in support services such as these.
Oil field service companies exist independently or semi-independently from the major corporations “downstream”, which refine oil and natural gas into fuel and various other products and then market those products.
Intersections with Other Industries
Depending on their scale and area of focus, oil field service companies brush up against other industries and may provide services useful to them. One major overlap is with geology. Extensive surveying must be done to assess the properties of soil and rock and the existence of groundwater deposits, in order to determine not only where there is oil to be found but where it is safe to drill. The surveying tools and techniques necessary to locate the ideal spot to set up a drilling rig can also be applied to finding other resources: sand, gravel and stone for construction along with minerals and groundwater. The geological maps that result are of high value to many industries.
Transportation—specifically transporting construction equipment, materials for infrastructure and waste materials—is another service that has wider applications. Pretty much any landscaping work is not only going to require moving heavy equipment but also removing both solid and liquid waste that results. There are many companies described as “oil field service” companies that, in truth, are more accurately transport and hauling companies, and they are just as able to haul for other industrial projects as well.