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Doug Sheridan

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  • Weatherford Is Starting To Walk The Walk [View article]
    If you are familiar with EnergyPoint Research, you know we specialize in understanding how oilfield suppliers are viewed by their customers. After having collected almost 20,000 evaluations of oilfield suppliers of all stripes since 2003, I can comfortably say that today's Weatherford is NOT viewed by the average customer as "bottom-of-the-barrel". Are there areas where customers would like to see improvements? Yes, absolutely. But as this and other recent articles we've published on Weatherford and its peers suggest, the company's current problems are not a direct function of its performance with customers. I acknowledge that there's more to a company than just its customer satisfaction; however, as I have tried to articulate in this article and other articles, company management appears to me to understand that "picking its battles" in the market place will go a long way in creating a more effective, results-oriented company. I'm not cheering for the company one way or another. I am simply offering my thoughts and insights based years of observing Weatherford and others in the space.
    May 8 10:28 AM | 3 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 11:43 AM | 3 Likes 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 11:55 AM | 2 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 11:29 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • National Oilwell Varco Rethinking The One-Stop Shop [View article]
    You are welcome. Glad you found it of interest.
    Oct 28 09:16 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • National Oilwell Varco Rethinking The One-Stop Shop [View article]
    Thanks for the catch on the duplicate chart. I'll get the editors to fix.

    Your question about the ratings for products versus services is a very good one. NOV's ratings in EnergyPoint's surveys primarily reflect their oilfield products. And within their products, it tends to be the capital equipment (as opposed to downhole/consumables) that drive NOV's ratings lower. More specifically, it's the capital drilling equipment that tends to be lowest rated. However, this is the case with others in the space as well. The fact of the matter is it's very difficult to manufacture equipment that can withstand the rigors of the oilfield when operating 24/7, which is what drilling customers want. For example, the first supplier that's able to manufacture a reliable and robust top drive stands to make a killing. That's why you see companies like Cameron International entering the space. But, as with many things in the oilfield, it won't be easy.
    Oct 28 05:35 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Contract Drillers Entering A New Era? [View article]
    Nabors has a pretty long hill to climb to get to the point where its fleet is fully optimized, both in terms of numbers and specifications. In its domestic drilling fleet, I believe the best of the company's newer rigs are competitive enough with H&P's FlexRig. However, because it's such a large company, and has so much in terms of legacy equipment, it's likely going to take a while before it can get its across-the-board fleet more fully on par with peers. International land markets have also been a drag on results, at least versus expectations. While I'm actually pretty optimistic in the long-term regarding prospects for international activity (read more here: http://bit.ly/UmpIK3), it does not yet look like much of a market. In terms of rationalization of its non-core assets, it seems management is determined to get a number of investments and non-core businesses off its balance sheet as soon as the market allows. Progress was slow on this front in the 3rd quarter; we'll see how the 4th quarter's progress was in coming weeks.

    Overall, I'd characterize progress at the company as slow but steady.
    Jan 3 10:45 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Baker Hughes Struggles To Define Itself [View article]
    I'm flattered, but, like LBJ, "If nominated, I will not run; if elected, I will not serve." :)
    Dec 29 02:18 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Weatherford Poised To Rise From The Ashes? [View article]
    If you listened to the most recent WFT conference call, it seems management at least undestands that it needs to change direction, including it's strategy and culture. This is the first time since we've been following the company that we can say that management seems committed to focus more one the things that will lead to more loyal customers and a better reputation in the the oilfield. If so, we'd expect its financial results to improve as a result.
    Dec 6 06:57 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 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 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 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 http://bit.ly/J9cn4O.
    May 9 01:16 PM | 1 Like 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 (http://bit.ly/x2l87B). 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 02:20 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 6 Oil Industry Suppliers to Consider [View article]
    <IMG class=authors_reply src="static.seekingalpha.co..."> mbkelly75, glad you found the article to be of interest. And thanks for the nice comments. Doug Sheridan
    Dec 1 10:16 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • National Oilwell Varco Rethinking The One-Stop Shop [View article]
    The editors fixed the duplicate chart issue. Thank you for pointing it out.
    Nov 4 03:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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