A Wall of Honor for Trade Workers

Whether they’re drillers, toolpushers or derrickmen, front-line workers in the oil and gas field – like many skilled trade workers – are unsung heroes. They spend long, arduous days away from family, often in hazardous locations. Their daily grind is always expected, seldom celebrated.

In other words, there’s no Oscar, Emmy or Golden Globe award on the rig.

But there are stories. And in one safety footwear providers’ view, there are “epic” stories of courage and commitment worth remembering and sharing in an era of skilled labor shortages.

That’s why a Wall of Honor was created by Red Wing Shoe Company, a provider of footwear as well as additional personal protective equipment (PPE) to roustabouts and other tradesmen and women. Unveiled this month, the Wall of Honor celebrates all kinds of skilled laborers’ accomplishments, as spoken in their own words and carried out through their work boots.

Red Wing asked for customer stories last year, received hundreds of submissions and selected 32 to highlight, along with their boots, on a physical Wall of Honor adorning its flagship store in Red Wing, Minn. In addition, a virtual Wall was “built” at www.redwingshoes.com/honor where the honorees’ inspiring tales – surviving scares, making critical repairs or getting up and getting it done each morning for decades – are on display.

The company’s CMO Dave Schneider says Red Wing has routinely received unsolicited notes from appreciative customers for more than 100 years and felt compelled to put some elbow grease into how they collected and curated these experiences at a time where the profession can be overlooked and ignored but is critically needed.

“It felt right to provide a space where their stories can live forever, paying respect to our customers’ boots and the remarkable work they have accomplished in their communities,” said Schneider.

One remarkable story is that of Eric Neece, a driller turned wind turbine repairman who, literally, followed his father’s footsteps in his Red Wings. His dad was a drilling consultant for a while with Parker Oil on rig 201. Decades later, he found himself on the very same rig pumping cement down a well using a new reverse-circulated method that, if it succeeded, would set a global record for the deepest hole to be cemented using that technique.

Wrote Neece: “When I stepped on that rig, it didn’t take long to hit me. The name and paint were different, but sure enough: number 201… Dad was no longer with us, but I know he was watching. And I made extra sure we set the world record to make him proud.”

Red Wing plans to continually maintain and rotate new stories, so RigUp readers are encouraged to submit their own epic moments here.

To learn more about becoming a consultant or contractor with RigUp, visit www.rigup.com/contractors.


Managing Oilfield Service Cost Inflation in a Tight Labor Market

“Oilfield service cost inflation and access to quality crews might be a constraint for some. The challenge for E&P companies is most will budget revenues conservatively (to the strip) but the reality is costs could escalate to reflect closer to strip prices if activity levels increase more. At our $54/bbl price deck, we see 0-5% service cost inflation but at strip prices closer to 10-12% is probable. Some of these costs can be offset with drilling and completion efficiencies but that is likely limited to around 5%, on average.” – RBC

In 2018, analysts expect to see a 20% increase in the horizontal rig count and a 50% increase in additional frac fleets in Lower 48. The recent oil price rally and a relatively bullish commodity price outlook have sent E&P and oilfield service (OFS) companies scrambling to position themselves for increased demand.
Drilling & Completions Market Day Rate

As overall oilfield activity increases, the demand for contingent labor rises. According to RigUp data, the number of jobs in OFS nearly doubled from 2016 to 2017. It’s likely that we’ll continue to see those numbers rise this year.

Oilfield Activity

Take Midland — a good indicator for oilfield job trends. In mid-2017, employment growth was outpacing labor force growth by double, and unemployment was nearing historic lows. As we saw in 2011-2012, a labor market this tight leads to OFS cost inflation and a significant degree of difficulty sourcing high quality contractors.

Midland Unemployment


As unemployment drops below 3%, the challenge of sourcing contractors isn’t limited to small companies. Even large majors and OFS companies struggle to acquire and keep high quality contingent labor, despite housing large, dedicated human resources functions.

Wall Street analysts expect a 70% increase in frac fleet demand and a 25% increase in horizontal rig demand this year. As we exit this cyclical trough in commodity prices, E&Ps and OFS companies are looking to quickly and efficiently scale their operations. And they’re turning to RigUp to access high quality contractors at competitive prices, which is critical to mitigating rising services costs. The old labor sourcing method of using fragmented consulting firms and small job-placement services doesn’t work in a world where rig efficiency and frac intensity are increasing while cycle times decrease.

Public versus Private Jobs

Let’s look at major services companies. Many today have chosen to partner with RigUp.  As demand for oilfield services picked up, their traditional methods for sourcing crews broke down. Historically, these companies were beholden to antiquated supply chain tools and a phone and email tag system that led to unread emails and missed phone calls going to hundreds of fragmented labor providers.

In this upcycle, that way of doing business is slow and limited. Major oilfield service companies needed quick, reliable access to highly qualified skilled labor and a network large enough to handle requests across the Lower 48.

By using RigUp’s platform to source contractors, these major companies saw a threefold increase in their overall sourcing speed and a 40% decrease in contractor onboarding. That equates to crews getting to work more quickly and, from the outset, working more effectively.

And even more important for long-term cost control and labor retention, these oilfield service companies are no longer flying blind. RigUp’s analytics gives their partners insight into important market data — like current, location-specific market pricing — to help them manage labor costs and remain competitive as oilfield activity intensifies.

And at the end of the day, the contractors are happy, too. They get paid faster, and take home more of their pay. They also tell their friends about RigUp, which makes our network across the country incredibly strong. No matter where you’re operating, RigUp likely has a strong pool of contingent labor ready to get to work.


Oilfield Consulting Firm Transparency: Payment Terms

With data from over 165 existing firms, we found that the average consulting firm pays their contractors in 27 days, with some firms taking as long as 60 days.  That is a long time to wait for payment, even if you can afford to do so.

However, what is even more concerning is the fact that this duration is typically a direct indicator of how much credit risk you might be unknowingly taking.  In most cases if a firm cannot afford to pay you until they get paid, then they cannot afford to pay you, if they don’t get paid!  Even worse, we have seen multiple cases of consultants not getting paid by a firm because the firm they were working with had a different client that did not pay their bills, thus bankrupting the company and taking everyones hard earned money with them.

At RigUp, you always have the ability to be paid in less than 5 business days.  In some cases, our clients require that they first verify a job-sheet before we can release payment, which can delay our ability to process payment by a couple of days.

We are able to pay consultants and then wait to get paid through extensive credit facilities that are tailored to provide 100% credit security back to you.

If you’re currently working as an oilfield consultant, click here to get a free quote on how much more money you could be making by switching to RigUp.

RigUp_Social Media-Quote Wade Dixon-01

Quantum Energy Partners and Global Reserve Group Lead $15.8 Million Funding to Support Next Phase of RigUp’s Growth

Using their proprietary software, RigUp has built a powerful digital platform where buyers and service providers can easily connect and transact on a full range of oil field services. Hailed as “the emergent Uber of the oilfields” by Forbes magazine in 2017, RigUp has seen rapid adoption from operators across the country who are relying on the company’s services to complete projects on time and under budget with reduced administrative tasks.

RigUp’s oilfield network platform — which has quickly grown into the largest of its kind — enables buyers across the United States to streamline transactions and efficiently scale on demand by providing them access to 22,000+ service providers across 100+ service categories. Service providers spend less time looking for their next job and more time working projects, taking home up to 20 percent more pay and getting paid more quickly.

The power of RigUp’s technology and their creative business model stands out in the current environment where E&P companies are showing increased enthusiasm and adoption of digital solutions. 


“Everything we’re doing is to help our service providers get more work and make more money,” said CEO and co-founder Xuan Yong. “Our service model continues to grow nicely every month. We’re excited to reach this milestone as a company and have Jeffrey Harris and the team at Quantum Energy Partners join us as investors. We are also pleased to welcome Napoleon Ta from Founders Fund to our board.”

“RigUp has identified an extremely attractive segment of the oilfield service market providing energy companies and their independent contractors a modern platform for coordinating their needs,” said Jeffrey Harris. “The power of RigUp’s technology and their creative business model stands out in the current environment where E&P companies are showing increased enthusiasm and adoption of digital solutions. We expect that the experience, network and resources of Quantum and Global Reserve should help accelerate the company’s growth.”

About RigUp

RigUp empowers the men and women who power the world. Founded in Austin, Texas, in 2014, RigUp’s marketplace is transforming the energy industry by seamlessly connecting service providers with buyers to get the job done — whenever, wherever. For more information on RigUp, please visit rigup.com.

About Quantum Energy Partners

Founded in 1998, Quantum Energy Partners is a leading provider of private equity capital to the global energy industry, having managed together with its affiliates more than $15 billion in equity commitments since inception. For more information on Quantum, please visit quantumep.com.

About Global Reserve Group

Global Reserve Group is led by Jeffrey Harris who established the advisory and investment firm in 2012 following a 29-year career at Warburg Pincus. As a senior partner at Warburg Pincus he had a long history of successful investing in technology companies and was also instrumental in creating and building the firm’s global energy practice and directly overseeing several billion dollars of equity investment in numerous successful oil and gas-related ventures such as Antero Resources, Bill Barrett Corp., Electromagnetic GeoServices A/S, Kosmos Energy, Laredo Petroleum, and Spinnaker Exploration. For more information on Global Reserve Group, please visit globalreservegroup.com.

Media Contact:
Carly Curran

New Tax Benefits for Independent Contractors

By John Mark Warren
Jan. 31, 2018 11:45a.m. C.S.T.

Recently passed tax reform could mean more money in your pocket. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Trump in December, may significantly reduce the taxes paid by independent contractors, starting in 2018. Specifically, one of the provisions of the new law was to provide a 20% tax deduction to small business owners. This includes many of the independent contractors that use RigUp, both as sole proprietors or as LLCs.

The savings can be very significant. As an example, if you make $150,000 in 2018, 20% of this, or $30,000, could be tax deductible. That means, instead of paying taxes on $150,000, you only have to pay taxes on $120,000. At a 24% tax rate (the tax rate for a single individual making $150,000 in 2018) this could save you $7,200 ($150,000 x 20% x 24%).

In most cases, this benefit is phased out gradually as income rises and there are limitations for certain types of services. As with any tax matter, the devil is in the details and everyone’s tax situation is unique. We recommend you seek advice from a qualified tax professional, but we wanted to highlight how significant this benefit could be for a lot of the folks in the RigUp contractor community.

RigUp empowers the men and women who power the world, and we are excited to learn that many of you can keep more of your hard-earned money because of this new law.


Oilfield Consulting Firm Transparency : Take Rate vs Billing Rate

We often find that contractors and consultants are NOT fully aware of the ‘take rate’ that they are being charged by their oilfield consulting firm, nor the benefits (if any) they are receiving in return.

While there are plenty of reputable oilfield consulting firms, there are also many questionable ones.  These non-transparent firms have created an environment where hard working people are consistently taken advantage of.  An informed contractor is the best contractor.  So, whether or not RigUp is the best option for you right now, make sure you are asking the right questions, and making an informed decision.

What is my Take Rate?

We define ‘take rate’ as the difference between how much an oilfield consulting firm invoices to their client (gross billable rate), and the amount the firm pays the contractor (net pay). Very simply, if a consultant’s gross billable rate is $1,000 per day, and the consultant takes home $900, then the ‘take rate’ is 10%.

RigUp offers the lowest take rates in the industry, on average 10% lower than competition.  You will take home an extra $30,000 per year

What is my Billing Rate?

Discovering your billable rate should be as easy as asking your oilfield consulting firm. However, RigUp has learned it’s not always as simple as that. And without your billable rate, it can be difficult to calculate what you’re actually being charged. RigUp has come across multiple cases of firms lying to consultants about their billable rate, making the consultant believe they had a lower take rate than they were actually receiving.  In one such case, we found a consultant that believed he was at 5% for almost a year before discovering a firm had actually been pocketing 17%.

The best way to actually confirm your billable rate is to see a signed invoice from the client.  It shouldn’t be a tough ask, but as you can imagine, sometimes firms don’t want to provide this.

At RigUp, we are happy to offer billable rate verification at any time.  What we bill and what you receive is 100% transparent.  As an independent business owner, this is your right.

About RigUp

RigUp empowers the men and women of oil and gas, leveraging software to provide the best experience in the industry. RigUp gives service providers exactly what they deserve.  The lowest rates, the guaranteed fastest pay, best in class insurance and benefit options, easy to use mobile and desktop app, and the friendliest 24/7 support team in the world. With a customer satisfaction score 55% above the industry average, having RigUp as an oilfield consulting firm option sells itself to contractors. To learn more about RigUp’s consulting program visit rigup.com/contractors.

Year-End Message from RigUp Co-Founder & COO Mike Witte

Dear RigUp Service Providers,

When we started RigUp, our goal was to provide independent contractors with the best work experience in oil and gas. We wanted to create a community where men and women—yourself included—could better perform the work they love, and receive the pay that they deserve.

I have always believed that the right person (or the wrong one) can drastically change how a project performs. As a petroleum engineer, I have worked with my share of independent contractors, drilling consultants, pumpers and gaugers, many of whom I found and hired through the boots on the ground relationships I had made, and the personal network that I had built. Unfortunately, the nature of oil and gas, the long payment cycles and the steep insurance requirements often forced me to send the individuals I wanted to work with to a ‘consulting firm,’ a group that often did little more than collect on 15% of their paycheck. This process felt wrong and unfair and I decided to do what I could to change it.

At RigUp, we work to win YOUR business every day. We believe in empowering the men and women who power the world. Our mission is to transform the energy industry with the strongest network of service providers, bar none.

As we enter into 2018, we will continue to work harder and smarter to create the best community of contractors in oil and gas. We have a lot of exciting things in store for you next year, so stay in touch and always keep in mind that your feedback and ideas are encouraged and greatly appreciated. You have helped make RigUp what it is today, so please let us know how we can continue to improve the community.

We’re changing the energy industry for good, and we’re grateful to have you as a part of the team.

Mike Witte
Co-Founder and COO
RigUp Co-Founder & COO
RigUp Co-Founder & COO

Expert Q&A: RigUp sits down with WoodMac’s R.T. Dukes

Where do we go from here?

As we progress through a volatile 2Q, we’re sitting down with one of the most well regarded E&P analysts on Wall Street to discuss the state of the North American upstream industry.

RT Dukes Image

RigUp: M&A in the Permian Basin remains a hot topic. This quarter we’re starting to see majors or larger E&Ps like Exxon and Marathon making sizable acquisitions in West Texas. Is this a signal that the consolidation is coming to an end? What do you expect in terms of M&A in 2Q 2017, particularly as it relates to the Permian Basin?

R.T. Dukes: There will be more, but there aren’t a host of companies looking to exit like there were 18 months ago. We’ll continue to see deals, but the next wave of consolidation will happen over a longer period and will be when economies of scale begin to matter. Add up guidance from many of the top operators, and it might be sooner than we think.

RigUp: Wall Street has dramatically increased Capex estimates for the back half of 2017 and into 2018. Based on your basin by basin analysis, is North America going to exceed production expectations for the year and if so, is that bearish for the commodity markets?

R.T. Dukes: That’s dependent on your expectations! With that, we’re on track to surpass the 2015 peak in oil production near the end of 2018. I suspect that probably outpaces what most people thought would happen. Of course, that could all change to be lower or higher if prices decide to settle closer to $40 or $60.

RigUp: Are we in a world now that should be focused on the “Call on Permian” instead of the “Call on OPEC”? Or is that still wishful thinking and posturing?

R.T. Dukes: The Permian is a significant player on the global stage, but it’s not big enough to single handedly suppress prices for a long time. It will create problems in years that demand growth slips or when global supply outperforms. That will cause year to year problems, but in the long-term, it’s not the sole price setter.

RigUp: Given the strength in production growth in West Texas, there’s some scuttlebutt that we’ll run into takeaway capacity issues starting later this year. What are your thoughts?

R.T. Dukes: We definitely could, but the pipes are on the way. We don’t expect any prolonged blowout in prices due to takeaway capacity. The problems are intra-regional and on the other side of those long haul pipes. Many of the major producers plan to produce so much they need to think about who their buyers are and securing demand for their production.

RigUp: Shifting conversation about takeaway capacity to the Northeast, what are your thoughts on basis differentials in the Northeast? How big of an impact is Rover Phase 1 going to have on the market? Do E&Ps adopt an even more aggressive productive behavior thereafter?

R.T. Dukes: It’s not just Rover, but the other pipes that will add Northeast connectivity too. Add all the projects together and the region looks set to have excess capacity for a few years post 2018. As a result, producers are going to realize prices that are much better than what they’ve seen in recent history.

RigUp: For the last 6 months, the industry has been talking about “core natural gas wells” having been drilled and completed already. What’s your opinion there?

R.T. Dukes: We’ve seen high grading to the highest degree over the past couple of years with oil and gas prices seeing cyclical lows. That is changing on the oil side as operators are already stepping out, but there’s still a big inventory of core natural gas wells that have yet to be drilled. Above $3 natural gas, we’ll see more drilling outside of just the Marcellus and Haynesville.

RigUp: RigUp’s marketplace has seen the market visibly tighten for frac for 1Q this year. In some cases, based on geographical and technical requirements, there’s no spot availability until June 2017. What’s your perspective on the medium-term and long-term supply / demand for frac horsepower in North America?

R.T. Dukes: Costs are going up! The jobs are bigger, and we’re going to need more HHP than we had in 2014. Barring a price shock to the downside, we’ve probably seen the lows in completion costs and the name of the game is back to managing those costs. The industry seems to underestimate how big those swings can be, and we’ll need new horsepower sooner than most believe.

RigUp: Could you go into further detail concerning completion design strategies that E&P companies are deploying currently?

R.T. Dukes: Bigger has been better, but we’re starting to see that normalize. We’ve seen diminishing returns in certain areas as operators use more than 1,500-2,000 pounds of proppant per foot. While proppant and completion prices were low, operators had the luxury of pushing the limits. Now that costs are going up, we expect we’ll hear talk of more efficient completions utilizing the right amount of proppant, water, horsepower, etc.

RigUp: Specific to oil and gas technology, what’s the current state of the industry and their willingness to modernize? At RigUp, we’ve been blessed with a strong contingent of supportive and transformational companies that have championed our adoption. But at the same token, we’ve been told by certain operators that the internet just won’t work in oil and gas. What’s your take? Will the technology adopters win?

R.T. Dukes: I’ve seen it my entire career covering oil and gas: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” We’ll always have companies like that as long as they can capture reasonable margins, but we’re not in a world where anyone expects $5 natural gas or $100 oil. The potential margin just isn’t as big as it was. A lot of people believe we’ve already cracked the code, and everything here will be small gains. The problem with not worrying about small gains today is they add up to big savings over time. Technology is as important as ever, and I suspect those companies that are avoiding tech are much more likely to be the next casualties of the shale revolution.

To learn more about Wood Mackenzie, visit woodmac.com.

To sign up for a RigUp account for free, visit rigup.com.

“Collapsing Costs: Curing Procurement” by Rob West, Redburn

In November 2016, Redburn released a report “Collapsing Costs: Curing Procurement” written by Rob West on the need for cost reduction in the oil and gas economy, emphasizing opportunities in procurement. The research discusses cost reductions available through the use of digital platforms and highlights achievements of E&P companies, including BP, that use RigUp.

We’ve summarized the article, but please download the full report at the end of this post.

 Today’s Procurement Challenges:

  • The average Major manages relationships with 100,000+ suppliers.
  • Many oil industry buyers don’t have access to their suppliers’ financial reports or HSE records.
  • The size and complexity of the industry has resulted in an uncompetitive model of excessive sub-contracting.

Curing Procurement:

Digital procurement platforms are changing the oil and gas industry. RigUp connects 17,000 U.S. contractors with 150 E&Ps and raises bids-per-award from 2.3 to 7.1. Cost savings reach 30%, middlemen are dis-intermediated, and nimble E&Ps can run 20-30x smaller procurement teams than Majors.

BP is the only Super-Major using RigUp at this time. Contractor usage is down 30% since 2012. Conversely, Shell forces suppliers to pay a $1,700 – $3,285 fee to access its own bespoke pre-qualification system—it has half the supplier numbers of peers, yet the highest headcount in procurement.

Benefits of procuring via digital platforms, such as RigUp: 

Greater Reach. More bids can be surveyed in a shorter amount of time.

blog_redburn_002Contract Cost Savings. One E&P, Three Rivers, saved 30% on an Authorization for Expenditure (AFE) for a drilling program with savings on wellhead and cementing equipment as high as 44%.

Unbundling removes unnecessary layers of oil service margins.

Time savings: In another case study, E&P Ameredev onboarded 17 contractors in less than one week, with under 24-hours screening time per contractor.


G&A Savings. Major independents have 100-200 people dedicated to US unconventional purchasing, where smaller companies are running comparable rig crews with 4-5 people.

Benchmarking potential. Anonymized cost data is available for benchmarking from the RigUp platform.

Download the full report HERE.

And visit www.rigup.com and sign up for a free account.

RigUp’s 3-point check that verifies the bid, field tickets, and invoice

At RigUp, we’re building product features that streamline purchasing and payment for both E&P companies and service companies. We help engineers spend more time on what they were hired to do and less time on paperwork, invoice verification and other time consuming administrative tasks. We help service providers find new opportunities to win business and get paid faster for their work so they can grow in any commodity environment.

 E&P companies should be able to work with any vendor that meets their quality standards without worrying about the arduous MSA processes.

When you schedule a job with a service company through RigUp, we take care of confirming an existing MSA. If there isn’t one, the service company can utilize our MSA and custom-built insurance solution to ensure 100% coverage. The service company’s bid is used to check the accuracy of the field ticket and invoice. No more guessing as to what the job was actually supposed to cost.

Service companies have the ability to push updates, change requests, and signed field tickets to your job dashboard in real time, allowing you to track the job as it happens. Once the invoice is ready for submission, service companies can submit it through our simple and intuitive invoice submission portal. We verify the invoice against both the field ticket and the bid to ensure accuracy of cost and scope.

We call this our 3-point check: bid, field ticket, and invoice all in alignment before it reaches your desk. You’ll receive an invoice submission with a cover sheet outlining our verification, our guarantee to you that you’re paying exactly what you should and not a penny more.

blog_3pt_verificationService companies, if the only thing holding you back from winning work is lack of an MSA or failure to meet the ever-increasing general liability insurance requirements, we can help.

RigUp can get you on location with an E&P company. Once the job is done, you have the option to expedite payment in the event you don’t want to wait for the E&P’s invoice cycle. We offer various options to get you paid quickly (as quickly as 3 business days) so you can stop worrying about outstanding invoices and focus on growing your business.

We believe in a fair and transparent market where the best companies are free to do business in an efficient and safe manner. Our new job scheduling functionality is just another step towards that goal. If you work at an E&P company and want to learn more about how we can save you time and money, get in touch with us. If you’re a service company that has lost work due to lack of an MSA or insurance coverage, contact us to find out how RigUp can get you covered and back to work.

Email support@rigup.com or call 512-501-5452.

You can sign up for a free account today at www.rigup.com.