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Doug Sheridan  

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  • Positive Change Underway At Nabors [View article]
    The good news is that the makeup of the BOD is changing as well. In the last 18 months, three new board members have been added, while one older member has left. In addition, John Yearwood, who only joined the board in late 2010, is now the lead director. Yearwood was previously on the BOD and then CEO of Smith International. Smith consistently rated very well in EnergyPoint's customer satisfaction surveys. My guess is that Yearwood is behind most of the positive change that's going on at the company.
    May 10, 2012. 04:16 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Positive Change Underway At Nabors [View article]
    Modern technology is a tricky issue in the industry. While it does tend to attract customers and sales, it also raises customer expectations. My experience is that oilfield suppliers tend to oversell technology in order to get the business, which only services to understandably frustrate customers and make them even more skeptical. A more healthy longer-term approach on the part of suppliers would be to more fully prove out new technologies before marketing them to their broad customer bases. However, the constant pressure to convince both customers and investors that a supplier is on the bleeding edge in technology tends to cause suppliers to sell new technologies before they are fully ready/vetted. The other issue customers have with oilfield "technology" is when suppliers simply rebrand older technologies with a new name, look, etc., call it "new" and then charge 2X what they did previously for the same technology. In short, game-changing technology in the oilfield is much more rare than what suppliers as a whole would have you believe. Personally, I'd rather work with a supplier that's more focused on delivering top-quality results for customers using the best available technology than one that is constantly pushing the benefits of game-changing technologies that might or might not even work.
    May 9, 2012. 04:31 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Positive Change Underway At Nabors [View article]
    While many of the same people are still "running the show" at NBR, they have different objectives and strategies than in the past. When the message from the board room changes, which I believe it has at NBR, entire organizations have a way of changing as well. Of course, there may be some old-school managers/personnel that don't buy into the new program, but my experience is that, if the change is real, they are forced to find religion or end up leaving the organization.

    Yes, EnergyPoint's surveys do show HP as the premier land driller as seen by customers. PDS is the only other driller that has consistently rated above average. PTEN seems a bit less committed to being a premier land driller , and more interested in being a broader provider of services (i.e., pressure pumping). This hurts their focus, in my opinion.

    Offshore, ESV is the top-rated driller. NE has also consistently been rated above average, as has RDC. DO is more toward the middle of the pack.

    By the way, if you go to my profile page on Seeking Alpha, it should list by ticker all of the oilfield suppliers mentioned in the 60+ articles I have posted on Seeking Alpha.They can provide you with more specific insights on the companies you mention. You can also find summary reports at
    May 9, 2012. 01:16 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Opportunities Stack Up, As Fracs Back Up [View article]
    Hi Bill. I can't say that we have any specific data or knowledge of Gasfrac as an supplier of fracturing services. However, the data we do have suggest smaller/niche companies like Gasfrac can and do have a role to play in the segment. By its own admission, the segment's leader (Halliburton) seems to be picking and choosing which customers it seeks to make its services available to. Those operators not on Halliburton's "work with" list, or who don't want to subject themselves to HAL's contract terms, should provide smaller suppliers with opportunity to capture a respectable level of market share.
    Mar 5, 2012. 11:55 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Opportunities Stack Up, As Fracs Back Up [View article]
    Craig, I think your points are very perceptive and very much on point.
    Feb 29, 2012. 02:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Opportunities Stack Up, As Fracs Back Up [View article]
    Hi Rob, thanks for the note. If you go to my author profile on Seeking Alpha, you can find a list of all of the articles I have posted in the site, many of which either focus on or include information regarding Schlumberger ( However, let me give you a summary of where I see Schlumberger in terms of oilfield service satisfaction. Generally speaking, Schlumberger's reputation in the oilfield is driven by its considerable capabilities in the area of downhole formation and well evaluation. It's a service that the company was founded on years ago, and it retains its leadership position in the segment to this day. That said, EnergyPoint's data do not tend to support the notion that all of Schlumberger's products and services are superior, from a technological or overall quality perspective, to that of other oilfield suppliers. However, the company has done a good job, in my opinion, of convincing its stakeholders, including investors, that they are. In terms of fracturing, the company, by its own admission, has somewhat neglected the segment until recently. So, it's had to play catch-up to some degree in the space. I'll also note Smith International, which the company recently purchased, has very strong levels of customer satisfaction, including in its M-I drilling fluids unit.
    Feb 29, 2012. 02:20 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Opportunities Stack Up, As Fracs Back Up [View article]
    Hi rjj1960 - thanks for your comment.

    I do agree with your assessment that as backlogs develop and suppliers tend to rush to complete jobs, quality and performance can and do suffer. However, I can't get on board with your other points. Keep in mind that the survey measured "customer satisfaction", not just "customer service". Customer satisfaction can be a function of a number of factors, including the quality of the frac job, the pricing and contract terms offered, the pre- and post-job planning of the job, the expertise of the crews and supervisors, as well as service and professionalism. So, its a lot more than just customer service. Furthermore, with crude prices over $100, a poor frac job can result in real monetary losses for customers. As a result, most oilfield customers today are much less likely to let poor quality products and services, for which can pay considerable premiums in many cases, just slide past them. Instead, they find alternative suppliers that can and do provide them with consistently good performance, during both busy and slow times. In fact, numerous studies have shown that stock prices of companies with high customer satisfaction, including oilfield suppliers, well outperform those with low levels of customer satisfaction. Of course, while there are still some persons and suppliers that believe they have the right to shortchange customers when times get busy, their numbers (and prospects) are shrinking.
    Feb 29, 2012. 11:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investing In The Supplier Side Of Shale [View article]
    I think that's a great analogy. To be sure, domestic oilfield services providers have benefitted as a group from the growth shale plays to date. However, just like in any business, those suppliers that are particularly good at helping their customers get the most from the shale assets will see their market shares increase over time. The good news is that unlike the Califonia gold rush, the shale play looks to be a legit long-term opportunity.
    Sep 29, 2011. 06:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Turning of the Tide at Tetra [View article]
    Research has shown that higher customer satisfaction levels correlate very well with stock price appreciation, including growth of top and bottom line. Companies with low levels of customer satisfaction have difficult times growing (e.g., Dell a few years ago) becuase they spend so much time replacing and/or dealing with complaints of dissatisfied customers. The point of the article was to provide readers with an understanding that Tetra appears to have reversed the negative impressions many customers had of the company. In short, happy lloyal customers are much more willing to spur the growth you mention than unhappy and fleeing customers.

    And for the record: I don't smoke. :).
    May 24, 2011. 11:29 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Acquisitions Impact Oilfield Supplier Standings [View article]
    Glad you found it to be of interest.
    Mar 22, 2011. 11:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Basic Energy's Workman-Like Ways [View article]
    Thanks very much for your comments. We'd love to have you participate in EnergyPoint's confidential surveys if you'd like to evaluate Basic and/or others. If so, contact us at, and we'll set up up in our program.

    Doug Sheridan
    Dec 9, 2010. 12:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nabors: Oilfield Jack-of-All-Trades, Master of None? [View article]
    Thanks for sharing this information. I agree, it does look like the company has been busy on the technology development front, particularly in it's businesses that fall outside of its flagship contract drilling rigs and crews.
    Aug 31, 2010. 10:49 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Happy Are Oilfield Contractor Customers? [View article]
    SBH, thanks for the comment. It's always a balance between looking at the most recent survey results versus the long-tmer trends. We tend to believe both are important. As a result, you will note that the first and third charts reflect data more recent data (since 2008), while the second chart looks at longer-term results since 2004. In terms of our process of data collection, our surveys actually do not ever "end"; we are constantly collecting data on oilfield suppliers. However, to answer your question, the last quarter for which we collected the data supporting this report was Q1 2010.
    Aug 20, 2010. 02:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Oilfield Suppliers That Scored the Highest [View article]
    As you said, NOV is primarily a products provider. Thus it is measured in EnergyPoint's surveys in terms of respondent's satisfaction with the "HSE features and performance" of its products. In this area, NOV's rating since 2005 has measured been pretty close to the middle of the pack.
    Mar 4, 2010. 04:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Top 15 Global Oilfield Services Providers [View article]
    I find this list to be interesting. In looking at it more closely, it appears that the rank is based on market captialization as of the end of 2009. However, I'm not sure why some companies are included in the list and some are not. For example, smaller companies such as SBM Offshore, Oceaneering Int'l, Core Laboratories, Tidewater, Bourbon, Superior Energy, Trican Well Services and Carbo Ceramics are included while some other prominent oilfield suppliers with larger market caps such as Cameron Int'l, Diamond Offshore, ENSCO Int'l, FMC Technologies, GE Oil & Gas, Nabors Industries, National Oilwell Varco and Noble Drilling are not included in the list. Do you know what the criteria were for the development of the PFC rankings? It might be interesting to understand.
    Feb 2, 2010. 11:43 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment