Russian oil services did not come out of knockdown

Working in this area is unprofitable because of the sanctions and low margins.
The global oilfield services market is recovering from the crisis of recent years caused by the fall in oil prices. However, in Russia, oilfield service companies face complex challenges due to Western sanctions on advanced technologies, as well as very low profitability, according to experts at Deloitte in their review. Industry participants see a way out in accelerated localization of equipment and the development of service exports for projects of Russian companies abroad.

The world market for oilfield services in 2018 will rise sharply after several years of decline - by 34.2% compared to 2017, to $ 200 billion. This forecast is contained in the CIS Deloitte study “Trends in the Russian Oilfield Services Market 2018”. The most active growth will be in the segment of geophysics, although it has declined over the last three years. "This is directly related to the position of key customers, as well as mining companies, which at one time suffered from a decrease in the price of hydrocarbons," the report says. Thus, according to Wood Mackenzie, in 2014 expenditures for exploration and exploration were $ 100 billion, and in 2017 only $ 40 billion.

In Russia, the fall of the geophysical market in 2014–2017 was not as serious as in the world as a whole - it fell by 7% (according to Rosnedra). According to the forecast of Deloitte, in 2018, an increase in the volumes of 2D and 3D seismic surveys is expected by 9–10% and 11–12%, respectively. In the medium term, the market of geophysics in the Russian Federation will grow, but not as actively as the world market - up to 10% per year. Deloitte experts explain this by the fact that the Russian oilfield services market has not fully recovered after the crisis of 2008–2009, and is also under pressure due to the introduction of sectoral sanctions by Western countries that have limited access to foreign technologies. According to Deloitte, this is a critical factor, because without the technologies of the oil company, the Russian Federation will not be able to develop hard-to-recover oil reserves (TRIZ).

The Ministry of Energy said “Kommersant” that the extraction of TRIZ in Russia requires the development of new technologies that have not previously been used anywhere in the world. The ministry recalled that for the development of some TRIZ tax privileges already exist (in terms of permeability), and in addition, as such, a value added tax can be used, “which will take into account the real economy of extraction”. In the Ministry of Natural Resources, “Kommersant” recalled that to study TRIZ, it is proposed to legislatively establish a new type of subsoil use - the creation of a scientific testing ground.

In addition, tariffs for oilfield services in Russia are five to seven times lower than abroad, noted in Deloitte. According to experts, today the profitability in the service segment is about 5%, and in the field of repair of wells - 2%. Low prices force professional domestic companies to leave the market, leading in exchange for contractors with low-skilled staff. In the service group Eriell “Kommersant” confirmed that oil and gas companies reduce their own costs at the expense of contractors, the margin in the industry is very low, and the only way to maintain market share is to increase efficiency and reduce costs. According to the company, the state is unlikely to be able to help in this situation. At the same time, the Ministry of Energy has already announced a tender for the preparation of proposals on possible measures of state support for oilfield services. Eriell noted that oil companies that had previously disposed of their own service capacities are now re-creating them, which intensifies competition in the market. Eriell believes that if Russian companies enter foreign markets and invite national service players, this will support the industry.

The representative of Rosgeology, Anton Sergeyev, agrees with this approach. He noted that last year the company increased exploration drilling and seismological studies. “The problem is rather localization and import substitution in this area. But in order to develop Russian production, it is necessary to focus not only on domestic, but also on foreign markets, ”he explained. Gazprom Neft also claims that the company's investment in geological exploration has only increased in recent years (in 2018, 30 billion rubles). The company stressed that they consider the development of TRIZ one of the key priorities.