The big three oilfield services firms sought during the lean upstream years of 2020 and 2021 to stress – with varying degrees of plausibility – their ability to transition away from upstream oil and gas (MEES, 5 February 2021). But as key Gulf NOCs Saudi Aramco, Adnoc and Qatar Energy advance multi-year multi-$bn expansion plans, the upstream and the Gulf in particular have moved back to center stage.

Olivier Le Peuch, CEO of global services number one SLB (formerly Schlumberger) told his firm’s Q3 results call on 21 October that “The next phase of global market inflection is expected to be driven by increasing activity in the Middle East… as capacity expansion projects begin to mobilize.” This “includes Saudi, it includes UAE, Kuwait, Iraq and what has been the first to expand, which is Qatar, on the LNG commitment towards 2027 will continue to expand as well. So I think the combination of this will create a new leg of growth next year internationally and we will be set to benefit from it across all the divisions.” (CONTINUED - 1065 WORDS)