[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the February 2021 issue of Oil and Gas Investor magazine.]
Private equity firms’ interest in the oilfield services (OFS) space traditionally meant investing in hard assets: rigs, frac pumps and trucks, a sand mine or downhole equipment. Firms always focused on companies with emerging technologies that advance E&P efficiency, including the abilities to drill or complete a well more accurately and faster.
A lot of debt flowed into the industry as private equity-backed startups developed new technology or sought to buy divisions from larger companies such as Halliburton.
Combine these travails with the fact that the oil and gas industry in general is slowly figuring out what its new role in the energy transition will be, and you’ll find that private equity firms are expanding their scope of investments.