The oilfield service sector is in dire straits, and it’s going to take a fundamental change in its relationship with the E&P sector for that to change. And E&Ps better get on board with effecting that change or learn to drill and frac a well themselves.

That essentially was the message of a discussion panel at the Houston Producers Forum in March. Panel moderator and prognosticator Jim Wickland, a long-time service company research analyst now with Stephens Inc., premised the discussion by pointing out that the oilfield service index in February was “dead flat” to where it was 15 years ago in 2004. Compare that to a 300% increase in the E&P index, even considering the current malaise in the public markets.

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