The 10 Most Customer-Oriented Oilfield Suppliers

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Includes: CLB, ESV, HP, KKR, MPLX, NR, OII, RDC
by: Doug Sheridan

Summary

Our annual surveys point to 10 suppliers as the oil and gas industry's superstars.

For these companies, customer satisfaction is more than just a nice idea -- it’s a vital part of who they are.

List includes offshore drillers, service providers, equipment providers and midstream companies.

Those familiar with EnergyPoint's surveys know we publish our independent customer satisfaction ratings and rankings of oilfield suppliers on an annual basis. These announcements reflect the best and most current information available for tracking the performance of industry suppliers.

While each year offers its own surprises as companies move up and down the rankings, there is a small group of companies that have, over the years, consistently remained at the top. These are the industry's superstars. For them, customer satisfaction is more than just a nice idea. It's a vital part of who they are.

Below are the 10 most customer-pleasing oilfield suppliers rated in our surveys over the last several years, listed in alphabetical order:

  • Core Laboratories (NYSE:CLB): A no-nonsense company that takes its mission to help customers understand what's down below very seriously. Highly rated in the area of performance and reliability for many years, clients particularly appreciate its employees' grasp of the nuances of their needs.
  • Derrick Equipment (Private): Focused, focused, focused. A family-owned operation with ties to the oil and gas industry dating back to the 1950s, Derrick's ongoing efforts in innovation center on the solids-control process. Whether the application is onshore or offshore, both operators and drilling contractors swear by its equipment and people.
  • Ensco (NYSE:ESV): By working to understand customers' needs and deliver on expectations with almost military-like precision, Ensco has remained at or near the top of our offshore drilling ratings since 2006. One of the few contractors to recognize early on the advantages of more standardized fleets.
  • Gardner Denver (NYSE:KKR): The reliable pumping and circulation of well-site fluids is vital to today's drilling process. When mud pumps are down, rigs are down. For five straight years now, respondents to our surveys have given Gardner Denver, now owned by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, high marks for the performance and durability of its pumps.
  • Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP): It's hard to think of a company that's played a larger role in the shale renaissance than H&P. Its innovative FlexRig design changed the rules of the game in one of the most ramshackled segments of the industry. With an unmatched devotion to process and improvement, customers get top performance on a consistent basis.
  • MarkWest Energy Partners (NYSE:MPLX): Recently purchased by MPLX, MarkWest brings a legacy of strong customer satisfaction and responsiveness in a segment not known for either. In our latest survey, the company rated first in total satisfaction and five additional midstream segments.
  • Newpark Drilling Fluids (NYSE:NR): Some operators will do anything to have the right drilling fluids and services supplier on site. Newpark's customers have even been known to eschew already-paid-for fluids, provided as part of integrated competitors'bundled offerings, in favor of Newpark's products.
  • Oceaneering (NYSE:OII): The company's remotely-operated vehicles remain the gold standard in the offshore. An ability to meet customers' requirements in some of the most demanding of environments certainly plays a role. So do its quality-control and inspection processes.
  • Rowan (NYSE:RDC): The company entered our surveys in 2006 as the top-rated service contractor overall on the strength of its customer relationships. Ten years later, Rowan continues to garner plenty of accolades. Its capabilities in HPHT and high-specification drilling remain its calling card, even as it expanded its reach to ultra-deepwater markets.
  • Vallourec (VK): Whether it is overall satisfaction, product quality and performance, or availability and delivery, the market place's appreciation for Vallourec runs deep. Customers are particularly impressed with the degree to which the company's goods are delivered on time and as ordered.

It's no secret that much of what the oil and gas industry has accomplished over the last decade is the result of the hard work, ingenuity and commitment of its suppliers. It's why customers continue to depend on them so heavily. It's also no secret that, like any industry, some suppliers stand out for being especially adept at doing things right. Our data point to the 10 listed above as among the best of the best.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Business relationship disclosure: My firm, EnergyPoint Research, does and/or seeks to provide for-fee data subscriptions to oil and gas industry participants, investors and other stakeholders, including companies covered in its posts, reports, articles and surveys.