Digital Strategy of Oilfield Services During Covid-19

The combined net income of Baker Hughes, Halliburton and Schlumberger was -$18.6 billion in 1Q 2020. While this has been a challenging time for oilfield services, each company has affirmed its commitment to digital transformation. OFS firms see their software arms as a key part of their recovery strategy, and there is clearly still customer demand for software. This Analyst Reaction dissects the digital strategy of the three largest OFS firms.

  • In their 1Q 2020 investor calls, the CEOs of Baker Hughes, Halliburton and Schlumberger all stressed the importance of their digital strategy. They say it will help them out of the downturn, be a key part of future strategy and also that customers are still buying software.
  • During the pandemic the OFS firms have found automation and remote operations technology especially helpful. Over 60% of Schlumberger’s drilling was operated remotely in March, and the three CEOs implied remote operations may become the new normal.

  • As oil companies adjust to working from home the OFS firms have experienced increased demand for their software. For example, Woodside has accelerated its deployment of Schlumberger’s cloud-based software so its geoscientists can use it from home. And the number of users of Halliburton’s cloud-based software platform has increased this month.
  • All three OFS firms have shifted digital strategy over the past year. Each has become more interested in artificial intelligence, more comfortable with the cloud, and more interested in open sourcing analytics. It seems they are all keen to move to enterprise software sales, making money from tailored services and platform licenses, while giving away applications

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