Legal challenges related to oilfield contract labor and RigUp’s solution to mitigate risk

With labor misclassification lawsuits mounting for operators and oilfield services companies alike, it’s important that management teams identify a better solution for managing labor related risk.

The purpose of this post is to provide you with greater insight around labor misclassification for Oil & Gas related companies while also introducing RigUp’s solution to help you reduce misclassification risk.

The Profile of an Oilfield Independent Contractor

Many of the reasons for using independent contractors are well-understood by most Oil & Gas Companies. They include the following:

  • The cyclical nature of a commodity based industry requires O&G companies to quickly  and easily expand or contract their workforces to accommodate workload fluctuations.
  • Oilfield independent contractors have specialized technical expertise and certifications acquired through formal training and on-location experience which makes them highly sought after.
  • Specialized oilfield independent contractors insist on and indicate a strong preference that they be retained on a competitive, independent contractor basis.
  • Service pricing has traditionally billed according to time “on-location” making Independent contractors billable based on day rates while on location.
Current Economic Landscape

The considerable economic challenges of the last 24 months in the oil patch has caused great strife among industry professionals. Reduction in billable work and decreases in market rates have created income shortages compared to earnings during the good ol’ days of 2010 thru 2014 when weekly, domestic land rig counts consistently exceeded 1,800 and nearly eclipsed the elusive 2,000 mark on several occasions.

With rig counts hovering around 30% of the peak through the latest downturn, an environment has been created that encourages opportunistic legal activity related to labor misclassification, as out-of-work independent contractors seek income to cover daily expenses and back taxes owed to the IRS.

Classifying Independent Contractors

The US Department of Labor (“DOL”), the IRS, and each state have their own unique factors in determining whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor. As an example, the DOL has a 6 point guide: webapps.dol.gov/elaws/whd/flsa/docs/contractors.asp

(1) Does the worker play an integral role in the business by performing the primary type of work that the employer performs for his customers or clients? Does the worker perform a discrete job that is one part of the business’ overall process of production? Does the worker supervise any of the company’s employees?

(2) How long has the worker worked for the same company?

(3) Is the worker reimbursed for any purchases of materials, supplies, etc.? Does the worker use his or her own tools or equipment?

(4) Who decides on what hours to be worked? Who is responsible for quality control? Does the worker work for any other company(s)? Who sets the pay rate?

(5) Did the worker make any investments such as insurance or bonding? Can the worker earn a profit by performing the job more efficiently or exercising managerial skill or suffer a loss of capital investment?

(6) Does the worker perform routine tasks requiring little training? Does the worker advertise independently via yellow pages, business cards, etc? Does the worker have a separate business site?

Here’s a more simplified summary: Independent Contractors must be treated as the competitive, professional business owners with the opportunity to win work in a competitive marketplace with the ability to invest in their own operation and growth.

Current Challenges

Innocent decisions made consistently over the course of peak business have created havoc for operators and oilfield services companies alike. Examples include:

  • Providing  non-cash incentives such as shared office space and company owned trucks to retain independent contractors.
  • Providing employee eligible benefits to independent contractors.
  • Stipulating and controlling independent contractor work hours.
  • Non-negotiable day rates.
  • Failing to provide defined project scopes.
  • Lacking documentation as to the professional, nature of the two entities.
What solutions does RigUp provide?

RigUp has brought to the Oil & Gas vertical the only free online marketplace with the same efficiency and transparency being realized in other verticals.

Legal Labor

Let’s talk about how we can help you today. Contact us at support@rigup.com or 512-501-5452.

www.rigup.com

RigUp’s 2016 Year in Review

We started RigUp over two years ago to build the premier marketplace for oilfield services. Our product began as a mobile app for the field and has grown into the best-in-class procurement, compliance, and vendor management solution for the upstream industry.

We believe that through technology, E&P companies and service providers can connect and execute operations more efficiently and effectively. Proper stewardship means a safer environment and American energy independence. Over 150 E&Ps believe in our mission and goal and we are grateful for their support.

In 2017, we will continue to enhance our product offering to meet the needs of our users – some new features include streamlining the MSA process, eliminating the industry’s outdated “procure-to-pay” workflow, and ensuring 100% environmental and safety compliance across the service provider network. Clients have asked and we’ll continue to deliver. Look out for roll-outs of features that simplify the procurement of integrated services. We’re ready to show off our launch of bundled and packaged solutions utilizing various work scopes within a project.

It’s been a year of hard work for our team but the successes have been well worth it. Here are some highlights from the past year. We look forward to delivering you our very best in 2017 – stay tuned!

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Wall Street Journal      Bloomberg      Austin Business Journal      Redburn

Bidding & Procurement Using RigUp – 5 Ways Cabot and Silver Creek Succeed

In the last year, we have made significant improvements to our product to enhance usability for engineers, procurement professionals, and compliance managers within our online marketplace. RigUp has earned praise as “the best-in-class bidding & procurement solution for oil and gas.” While still keeping true to our core mission (helping operators and service companies connect more efficiently), we have listened intently to all user feedback, and continue to perfect and mold the platform to meet the needs of our ever growing user base.

To illuminate some of the changes that have taken place over the past year, RigUp turned to a few of our early adopters, Cabot and Silver Creek to analyze the impact. In our analysis, jobs were compared only if their work scope, location, and job requirements were identical from last year to this year.

Quote_Cabot Oil & Gast Corporation

Bidding & Procurement quote

As RigUp introduced more powerful bidding and procurement features such as bid templates, E&Ps and service companies alike have benefitted. For example, both E&P companies showed a significant increase in the number of unique service companies who submitted bids to win the work. Silver Creek had a 27% increase in submissions and Cabot saw well over double the amount of bid submissions over the span of one year. In addition, both E&Ps showed significant improvement in bid submission rates.

Bidding & Procurement Improvements

Despite WTI crude prices increasing 33%+ during the same time frame, Cabot saw costs savings ranging from 14% to 32% on RFQ’s year over year for identical job work scopes. These requests included coiled tubing unit packages, isolation tool work (well intervention), wireline pressure control equipment, coiled tubing motor and mill packages, and workover rig jobs.

Cost Savings Improvements

Silver Creek also saw cost savings of 9% on the same jobs over a similar year duration. The jobs being compared in Silver Creek’s analysis involve completion systems and well intervention by means of running new tubing on all wells with a liner hanger, liner-top packer, and toe-sleeve to test the liner prior to fracturing operations.


5 ways Silver Creek and Cabot leveraged RigUp to improve efficiency & reduce costs:

  1. Sourced more and new vendors through Open Market Bidding.
  2. Tapped into the power of RigUp Bid Templates to allow for apples to apples comparisons.
  3. Took advantage of RigUp’s permission settings and messaging functionality to make it easier for the technical owner and the purchaser to execute an RFQ much faster while maintaining security and transparency.  
  4. Utilized RFQ Reports which allowed for streamlined analysis of multiple bids – allowing Cabot and Silver Creek both to bid to more vendors.
  5. Awarding work and assigning call positions provided a clear call-out structure for their company men in the field.

To learn more about RigUp and sign up for FREE, visit rigup.com or give us a call at 512-501-5452.

5 Key Takeaways from the 2016 Wharton Energy Conference

 

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RigUp attended the Wharton Energy Conference in late October 2016, and we noted a few key insights that will undoubtedly follow the industry into 2017.

RigUp’s CEO and Co-Founder, Xuan Yong led an Upstream Panel that included David Keyte, Founder of Caerus Oil & Gas; James Obulaney, Vice President at Denham Capital; Vidisha Prasad, Managing Director of Guggenheim Securities’ Energy Investment Group;  Jerry Schretter, Managing Director and Co-Head of Upstream at Citi; Tom Tyree, Co-Founder, President, and CFO of Vantage.

A few questions from this panel included: What opportunities exist for mergers and acquisitions in the Upstream space? What assets are economic at $40 a barrel? When do non-core areas of U.S. shale gas come back to play? What’s the outlook for International shale, deepwater, oil sands? What are the ramifications for spending deferral in E&P?

Here are our 5 Key TakeAways from the Wharton Energy Conference: 

#1) The current down cycle has separated winners from losers. Independent E&Ps with quality acreage alongside best in class technologies have grown stronger. While culturally backwards E&Ps have become weaker.

#2) Super major oil companies are valued at a discount relative to leading independents (even in lower commodity prices).

This had made it extremely hard for super-majors to act as consolidators in the down-cycle. Leading independents have used their premium valuations in the public market to capitalize on further acquisitions strengthening their positions.

#3) Leading management teams in “shale” will be statistically driven.

No one drills “dry-holes” anymore. Binary outcomes made winners and losers in a “conventional” E&P world historically. Winners and losers are now made by running leaner and more sophisticated with operating leverage built into an E&P company’s business model.

#4) More distributed teams operating closer to the field. Where as Houston, Texas has historically been the center of E&P headquarters, we are observing a resurgence of E&Ps locating key engineering managers to locales closer to the asset base. Pittsburgh, Denver, and Midland are becoming more relevant than ever.

#5) L48 and North America in general are becoming the swing producer of hydro-carbons. It’s more than just energy independence, it’s energy prowess in the global world.

In summary, it should be no secret that the next up cycle will be dominated by a new class of nimble and sophisticated independent E&Ps.

RigUp can help E&Ps keep up and outpace their competition. Sign up for FREE today!

Questions? Comments? Contact lindsey@rigup.com or visit www.rigup.com to learn more.

Consultants make more by contracting through RigUp

Oil and gas contractors have historically been represented by consulting firms that collect resumes and bring them to the offices of the E&P. Through RigUp, the oilfield’s online marketplace, oilfield consultants can now complete a single application within minutes that presents their experience to even more E&Ps.

RigUp’s operator network spans over 150+ E&P companies. These E&Ps utilize RigUp’s bidding and procurement platform to find various oilfield services, some of which they will subcontract through RigUp. RigUp subcontracts work to consultants with day rate and work acceptance agreements all occurring on the online platform. 

Utilizing its best in class technology and a premier insurance program, RigUp can subcontract at rates of 5-10%, which are significantly less than the traditional industry average (typically ranging from 15% to 25%). For example, an independent Mud Engineer at Parsley increased his day rate that ultimately saved him tens of thousands of dollars.

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Oilfield consultants who have switched to securing work through RigUp have made an additional $170,000 in annualized earnings given RigUp’s industry leading take rates.

The platform goes even further by supplying a compliance and labor manager tool for the E&P. RigUp’s Labor Manager provides an automated compliance platform that allows E&Ps to successfully onboard and manage their consultants seamlessly. Each consultant is personally screened and ready to go within a single business day. RigUp allows for real-time HSE monitoring of the contingent labor workforce, all available at the operator’s fingertips.

Select oilfield consultants for the job

Specify Training Requirements

RigUp has created a platform that allows oilfield consultants to showcase their experience in the industry directly to the E&P company. That said, RigUp has changed the dynamic between E&Ps and consultants for the better. Consultants are exposed to additional work opportunities while E&Ps can select the best workforce for any project at hand.

If you’re an E&P interested in hiring labor through RigUp’s marketplace, or if you’re a Oilfield Consultant looking for more work opportunities and better pay, get in touch with us today.

512-501-5452 | consulting@rigup.com | rigup.com

Open Market Bids allowed Jones Energy and The McDaniel Company to connect and prosper

In July 2016, RigUp introduced the option for E&P’s signed on to the platform to place Open Market Bids. Every time an Open Market Bid is created, the bid is posted automatically to Service Companies’ dashboards. An email is also sent out weekly to the user base that the bid applies to, inviting them to bid on the work.

For the first time ever, Service Companies can search for new jobs in real time and bid on work for Operators they may have never previously had access to. RigUp listened to what Service Companies had been asking for, and we took their feedback seriously. We are always aiming to provide the highest level of service and ease of use to our users.

“When we added Open Market Bids to our online marketplace, we thought it would gain traction quickly with both E&P’s and Service Companies. The feature not only adds another layer of connection to the bidding process, but is an obvious positive for Service Companies because they can now bid on and win more jobs than ever before.” Tyler Myracle, Director of Product, RigUp

Jones Energy quickly took advantage of this new feature and put out an RFQ for Plugging and Abandonments in the Panhandle / Oklahoma region. Through Open Market Bidding, they received pricing from nine vendors. The McDaniel Company was one of the companies awarded, and neither party had worked with one another previously. Through RigUp and Open Market Bids, service providers can find new clients and develop new relationships.

According to Jones Energy, an E&P company in the U.S. Mid-Continent, their approach to doing business is “traditional and strategic, and their methodology is contemporary and forward-thinking. They are never afraid to look at things different and try new ideas.”

RigUp was ultimately an obvious win-win solution for both Jones Energy and The McDaniel Company.

Open Market Bid Quote

“We awarded work to two companies and one of them was The McDaniel Company, a completely new vendor for us. Austin McDaniel was incredibly thorough with his quotes and is great at follow-ups.”

Jennifer added,It’s nice to have more than one dependable company to work with on these projects, and using RigUp helped us find The McDaniel Company.”

In a much similar scenario, The McDaniel Company has been using RigUp for about six months now, and one of the first projects they were awarded through the platform was the opportunity to work for Jones Energy.

Open Market Bid Quote

The McDaniel Company serves over 150 clients ranging from small independents to many major oil & gas companies. Operators across a six state territory, including Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, utilize McDaniel’s P&A services. The McDaniel Company is also active in the Oil County Tubular Goods (OCTG) distribution & sales business specializing in used reconditioned & inspected tubulars.

“Why are we in the business? To save our clients time, money and provide them with the assurance that any job which we perform will be carried out in a reliable, safe and hardworking manner,” says Austin McDaniel.

In just a few short months, open market bidding has become a go-to for many Operators when placing bids, and Service Companies have been quick to react and adopt the feature. The Open Market Bid stats speak for themselves.

Open Market Bid Stats

Are you an E&P Company? Start utilizing Open Market Bidding on RigUp today. Click HERE to log-in.

Some of the quickest and easiest products to bid out include casing, tubing, and plug and abandonments. If you need help, contact us, and we’ll get you in touch with one of our Petroleum Engineers.

Are you a Service Company? Visit your RigUp dashboard to find new jobs that have been posted to the Open Market. Click HERE to log-in.

Questions? Call us at 512-501-5452 or email us at support@rigup.com.

RigUp’s CEO and Co-Founder, Xuan Yong presents at Enercom 2016

The EnerCom Oil & Gas Conference® offers investment professionals the opportunity to listen to the world’s key senior management present their growth plans and provide industry professionals a venue to learn about important energy topics effecting the global oil and gas industry. Enterprise Values of the 2016 presenters ranged from approximately $9 million to $150 billion.

Our CEO and Co-Founder, Xuan Yong presented at this conference held in August 2016 in Denver, Colorado.

Xuan tells the story of who and what RigUp is, our mission, and how we’re dramatically changing the way the oil and gas industry does business.

RigUp is focused on the upstream industry, including drilling, procurement, completions, and production operations. We currently have over 12,000 service companies and more than 150 E&P’s signed on to the RigUp platform, and those numbers are continuing to grow.

Visit rigup.com to learn more.

RigUp helps Operators keep their workforce happy by offering Contractors More Jobs and More Money

RigUp Subcontracting Program Quote

American Resource Development, LLC (Ameredev) is an Austin based E&P company focused on the Permian Basin. Ameredev has successfully leveraged RigUp’s Subcontracting Program as a solution to help build out their oilfield crew to work on drilling, completions and production activities, which include Mud Engineers and Lease Operators.

Ameredev was able to get up and running with the RigUp Subcontracting Program in next to no time, onboarding 17 new contractors in less than a week, with each individual screened and ready to go in 24 hours.

Zach Boyd, Operations Superintendent at Ameredev provided some feedback on his recent experience with RigUp. He explained, “It’s a very simple process onboarding the Contract Personnel.”

Based on a company’s requirements, RigUp can perform background and reference checks, drug and alcohol screenings and the validation of training requirements to meet an organization’s standards. Once complete, contractors are ready to step foot on location and get to work.

Zach added, “RigUp allows ease of operations to assign work and is prompt and straightforward with invoicing.”

In addition to a seamless onboarding process, RigUp offers payroll administration for its subcontractors, including an easy way to log hours online. RigUp’s professional support team is always on-hand to assist both operators and contractors with any industry related challenges.

“The contractors have all been exceptionally pleased to be under the RigUp subcontracting umbrella. I have had very good feedback from the field,” says Zach Boyd.

The high level of satisfaction reported by RigUp’s subcontractors directly correlates to the benefits RigUp provides. By offering the best rates in the industry (substantially less than the standard of 15-20%), contractors take home more of their hard-earned money and receive it on-time, every two weeks. Since signing up to the RigUp program, the independent contractors performing work for Ameredev have realized a combined increase of more than 10% in their net earnings.

RigUp Subcontracting Program

Start leveraging RigUp’s subcontracting solutions for contingent labor today. Whether you’re a an Operator looking to build a team for your next project or an Independent Contractor looking for more work and more money, get in touch with us.

Sign Up as a Contractor consulting@rigup.com | 512-501-5452 x708

Sign Up as an Operator  |  support@rigup.com  | 512-501-5452                                         

White House LGBTQ Tech and Innovation Briefing

Last week I was invited to join over 300 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer tech leaders at the White House for the third annual LGBT Tech & Innovation Briefing. Together we discussed how technology can help address some of the nation’s biggest problems in criminal justice reform, environment, health, inclusion, entrepreneurship, youth solutions, and improving LGBT federal statistics.

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Open data from the U.S. Government fuels data-driven legislation and public services, but what if that data doesn’t include everyone? The lack of representation of marginalized communities affects our ability to accurately identify what issues need to be addressed.

I was part of the team working on criminal justice reform. The Police Data Initiative (PDI), encourages transparency in law enforcement to bring community trust and accountability. Launched last April, over 70 police jurisdictions have volunteered to release their data publicly – including Austin, Texas. Denice Ross, senior advisor at the White House and co-founder of PDI, shared how analyzing police data is difficult because it is not standardized. Ross encouraged us to engage with local police departments to gain insight into how technology is used and can be improved from within.

What if we could help enable a new culture of open data in law enforcement agencies where police collaborate with their tech counterparts in local government and the community to publicly release incident-level, structured, machine-readable data on policing? Source

Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer of the United States, speaks on humanizing data
Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer of the United States, speaks on humanizing data

Over the next couple of months, we will be using our experience at the briefing to plan for TechUP Inclusion + Innovation Week in November.