Weatherford International Ltd is one of the world’s largest diversified upstream oilfield service companies.
It has a $6.1 billion annual turnover, approximately 33,000 employees in over 100 countries, and 87 manufacturing facilities supporting 730 service bases. When clients hear about Weatherford’s portfolio of capabilities, the almost universal response is, ‘I didn’t know that you do all of that.’
During the past seven years, the company has invested heavily in people and new technologies that reduce capital and operating expenditures while increasing production and recovery rates. As a result, the Weatherford of today is very different from the Weatherford of previous decades.
Bill Daniel, supply chain co-ordinator explains: “Weatherford is a dynamic company and has completed many acquisitions over the last few years. We are currently a growing business with our revenues and business constantly expanding. The products and services that we offer are second to none and we have one of the largest ranges of solutions of any services company.” He continues: “The diversity of our product line is one of our key strengths and we have great product capabilities. We also have the largest group of artificial lift products, from gas lift through to electric submersible pumping systems. We are able to provide solutions to our clients no matter what the problem is.”
Weatherford is known for providing superior services to its clients and maintaining it’s ‘closer to the client philosophy’. Bill adds: “A lot of our R&D projects have come from our clients. They may have a particular application, which does not function very well so they inform us of the opportunity to develop, and we then specialise these systems for the client. Therefore, in many cases our customer base will generate the interest in new innovations and help us develop products to overcome their problems.”
There are many benefits of being part of a large organisation such as Weatherford UK, as Bill explains: “The main advantage is that we have people within the group all over the world. This means that we can operate in remote areas where we would not be able to if we were a small company. We have facilities in most of the major countries across the globe with a very good infrastructure, which gives us a greater opportunity to sell more of our products in many different countries.”
In all of its operations, Weatherford’s most important mission is to pursue the highest possible standards of Quality, Health, Safety, and Environmental (QHSE) performance. In order to achieve this goal, the effective implementations of the company’s policies on these issues are a top priority for all employees. By maintaining compliance with all applicable laws and regulations within the areas of its operation, Weatherford conducts all its activities in a manner that promotes safe working practices and avoids risk to employees, neighbours, and the environment.
Another key issue for the business is superior quality customer service. Bill explains: “We cooperate very closely with our clients and try put ourselves in their position. Personally, I try to sell myself to the client initially to try to gain their trust, understanding and belief in what I’m offering them. If I can do that well then they will work with me again.”
In the future, Weatherford sees many opportunities for growth in the market it operates in. Bill explains: “There are additional projects constantly coming on-stream and we are always looking a number of years ahead to try to build long-term relationships with our clients. We are also constantly developing new technologies that would benefit our them.”
Despite this, Bill admits there are many challenges facing Weatherford in the future: “The main problem is trying to retain highly skilled employees. It is difficult to see where the next group of technical experts are going to come from. There is not the same level of people entering the market with the willingness to spend years gaining experience and knowledge to get to where they want. Human resources are going to be a critical issue moving forward.”
He adds: “To overcome this issue we are spending a great deal of time on personal development, human resources and graduate training programs. This is so any new employees entering the company will have a career development path, which will encourage them to stay within the business. We want to try and move employees through the various levels as quickly as possible so they are competent in many services and skills. I think this is a good way of maintaining a high quality workforce because they can see the opportunities that lie ahead.”
However, Bill is confident that the company can become a complete solutions provider, offering its clients more: “We have really tried to select acquisitions which will provide us with more opportunities moving forward. We want to select businesses that will give us additional services and grow our business. We always make sure that any new companies will fit into our company profile and what we intend to do in the future.”
Weatherford UK Ltd