Opportunities for participation in the oil and gas industry are spread across the upstream lifecycle (which includes exploration, appraisal, development and production - upstream) and across the entire oil and gas value chain (which includes upstream, refining and processing, storage and transportation – midstream; and marketing and distribution – downstream).

The level of risk in oil and gas operations is, compared to other industries, relatively high and in some cases extreme. These risks range from environmental to technical and financial, particularly at the upstream part of the value chain. However, at the other end of the risk profile is the potential reward which can be high, depending on such factors as economies of scale, cost efficiency, technology, and know-how.

Figure 1: The Oil and Gas Value Chain

For upstream oil and gas operations, operators tend to procure goods and services related to the various activities conducted throughout the lifecycle, from seismic surveys to drilling and well completion, development and production, and cessation and decommissioning. These services can either be procured in-house by the operator itself, or outsourced to service companies with requisite technical and financial capabilities. The latter is a more commonly practiced approach.

Services Typically Provided in the Exploration Phase
The following schematic summarizes the potential services that can be typically provided for upstream exploration activity. The current focus is on exploration activity. In the event of a commercially viable discovery, information pertaining to development and production related operations will be provided.

Summary of potential services typically provided in the exploration phase

  • Geophysical

    Activity Brief Description
    Seismic data acquisition Generation and recording of seismic data (to interpret the composition, fluid content, extent and geometry of rocks in the subsurface)
    Data processing Alteration of seismic data to suppress noise, enhance signal and migrate seismic events to the appropriate location in space
    Imaging of reservoirs Mapping changes in the reflection and propagation characteristics of the seismic waves
    Data management Handling of data related to core samples, cuttings, liquid and other samples, digital equipment

  • Drilling

    Activity Brief Description
    Onshore & offshore contract drilling Ownership and/or operation of a drilling rig to supply hardware (the rig) and software (human resources and technology) at daily rates
    Directional services Activities related to the intentional drilling of a well along a pre-determined path in three-dimensional space
    Mud logging Activities related to the treatment and reporting of mud products (drilling fluids) resulting from drilling operations

  • Reservoir

    Activity Brief Description
    Logging while drilling Services related to the measurement of formation properties during the excavation of the hole, or shortly thereafter
    Wireline services Services related to any aspect of logging that uses electrical cables to lower tools into the borehole and to transmit data

  • Well

    Activity Brief Description
    Coiled tubing Services related to oil and gas well interventions for the purpose of pumping fluids
    Well servicing Maintenance procedures performed on an oil or gas well after the well has been completed
    Fishing and rental services Services related to recovery of material left in a wellbore, ranging from waste metal to drillpipes or drill collars

  • Downhole pumping

    Activity Brief Description
    Downhole pumping services Services related to adding energy to move the fluids to the surface after reservoir pressure is no longer sufficient to do so

  • Completion

    Activity Brief Description
    Casing and tubing Services related to the fabrication of cement protection of steel pipes
    Coating and piping Provision of corrosion prevention material and necessary ancillary piping services

  • Logistics

    Activity Brief Description
    Aviation Air charter services for the oil and gas industry, including crew movement, cargo charter, onboard couriers, and medical services
    Land transportation On-ground transportation services
    Operations support vessels and heavy goods transport Including exploration and drilling vessels, offshore support vessels, and special construction vessels
    Catering Provision of local and remote site catering services for onshore and offshore operations

  • Utilities

    Activity Brief Description
    Fuel Supply of marine fuel to offshore vessels, fuel for generating systems e.g. to power pumping stations
    Steam Provision of services related to management of steam produced from generators affecting the reservoir
    Power Provision of power management and temperature control systems for oil and gas operations
    Water supply and treatment Services related to supply, management and treatment of water used by or produced from exploration operations
    Industrial gases Services related to the supply of gases such as nitrogen, and the management of produced gases such as CO2

  • Other services

    Activity Brief Description
    Auditing & certification Services related to ensuring and confirmation of compliance of offshore and onshore installations with applicable codes and standards
    Inspection Provision of services ranging from acoustic emission tests to asset integrity management and condition monitoring
    Surveying Provision of services related to acquiring seismic, electrical, gravity or magnetic data
    Hot-tapping & freezing Provision of services related to providing special equipment and procedures to ensure that the pressure and fluids are safely contained when access is made
    HSE services Services related to ensuring adherence to regulations, guidelines and best practices regarding health, safety and environmental management
    Consulting Provision of technical, financial, legal, economic, strategic etc. consulting services to support oil and gas operations

Goods Typically Purchased In The Exploration Phase
The following schematic summarizes the potential goods that can be typically purchased for upstream exploration activity. The current focus is on exploration activity. In the event of a commercially viable discovery, information pertaining to development and production related operations will be provided.

Summary of potential goods typically provided in the exploration phase

  • Subsea equipment

    Activity Brief Description
    Wellheads Component at the surface of an oil or gas well that provides the structural and pressure-containing interface for the drilling (and production) equipment
    Sub-surface safety valves Safety device installed in the upper wellbore to provide emergency closure of the producing conduits in the event of an emergency
    Compressors Device that raises the pressure of air or natural gas during operations
    Meters For measuring volumes or rates of fluids
    Separators Cylindrical or spherical vessel used to separate oil, gas and water from the total fluid stream produced by a well
    Risers Large-diameter pipe that connects the subsea blow-out-preventer stack to a floating surface rig to take mud returns to the surface
    Umbilicals Connections used offshore between the subsea equipment and platforms or floating production units and enabling the control from the surface

  • Downhole equipment

    Activity Brief Description
    Casing hardware Large-diameter pipe lowered into an open hole and cemented in place, mainly to withstand a variety of forces, such as collapse, burst, and tensile failure, as well as chemically aggressive brines
    Drilling tools Including drilling rig, drilling riser, fluids, detergents
    Wireline logging tools Tools used to continuously measure formation properties with electrically powered instruments to support decision making for drilling (and production) operations

  • Tubular goods

    Activity Brief Description
    Drill pipe Tubular steel conduit fitted with special threaded ends called tool joints
    Casing Large-diameter pipe lowered into an open hole and cemented in place, mainly to withstand a variety of forces, such as collapse, burst, and tensile failure, as well as chemically aggressive brines
    Tubing A single length of the pipe that is assembled to provide a conduit through which the oil or gas will be produced from a wellbore. Tubing joints are generally around 30 ft [9 m] long with a thread connection on each end
    Manifolds Arrangement of piping or valves designed to control, distribute and typically monitor fluid flow. Manifolds are often configured for specific functions, such as a choke manifold used in well control operations, a frac manifold for directing treatment fluid, and a squeeze manifold used in squeeze-cementing work

  • Rigs, platforms and FPSOs

    Activity Brief Description
    Land rigs and rig equipment Machine used to drill a wellbore. Major components include the mud tanks, the mud pumps, the derrick or mast, the draw works, the rotary table or top drive, the drill string, the power generation equipment and auxiliary equipment
    Offshore drilling package Rigs including living quarters for operating crew
    Vessel conversions In offshore operations, any barge, boat or ship that brings materials and personnel to and from the rig site

  • Instrumentation and control

    Activity Brief Description
    Sub-surface sensors Mechanical or electronic devices for measuring various properties in the well such as pressure, fluid flow rate from each branch of a multilateral well, temperature, vibration, composition, fluid flow regime, and fluid holdup

  • Fluids and chemicals

    Activity Brief Description
    Drilling and completion fluids Any of a number of liquid and gaseous fluids and mixtures of fluids and solids (as solid suspensions, mixtures and emulsions of liquids, gases and solids) used in operations to drill boreholes into the earth
    Upstream specialty chemicals Such as drilling polymers, drilling mud lubricants, drilling mud defoamers, drilling mud surfactants, and cementing additives

  • Other materials

    Activity Brief Description
    Corrosion protection Chemical additive used in acid treatments to protect iron and steel components in the wellbore and treating equipment from the corrosive treating fluid
    Insulation Including acoustic insulation for compressors and high-pressure piping systems, and fire protection for rigs, gas exploration
    Coating and painting Thin material, liquid or powder, which, applied over a structure, forms a continuous film to protect against corrosion. Corrosion coatings should possess flexibility, resistance against impact and moisture, good adhesion and cohesion, and chemical resistance to the exposure conditions (such as temperature, hydrogen sulphide)

Key Requirements

In order to competitively participate in the provision of such goods and services, companies must demonstrate technical, financial and commercial capabilities that are consistent with best international practice for the oil and gas industry globally, and suited to the sometimes-specific requirements of the Right-holder Operator. This is largely due to the high level of risk involved in upstream oil and gas operations. Companies interested must therefore meet eligibility criteria broadly such as:

  • Relevant capabilities, previous delivery of similar services, years of experience, certifications…
  • Different types of financial guarantees

The detailed criteria specific to particular goods or services will be provided as part of the tendering documentation. To check the available tenders please visit the Procurement and Employment Page.

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