Getting oil out of the ground and ready for production is not as easy as most people think. Some people think an oil well drills for oil, oil flows out, and then this oil is ready to be used for fuel for vehicles and for making other products, such as plastics.

If this were the case, everyone would be doing it.

In fact, getting oil out of the ground is a time-intensive, multi-step process that requires many processes to remove oil from the ground and process it into fuel and products we can use.

Oilfield supply and oilfield service companies are the heart of the oilfield industry. They provide many of the processes in oil’s journey to the consumer’s hands. In fact, without oilfield supply and service companies, it would be next to impossible to lead the lives we lead.

Northern Oilfield Services is an oilfield supply company that offers wellhead and frac equipment rental equipment to oilfield companies in North Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, and other western states. We will rent wellheads or sell them, as well as provide routine maintenance for them, ensuring they are compliant. We also sell wellhead equipment components and parts to ensure your wellheads are working properly. Below, we’ll dive into oilfield supply and oilfield service companies, as well as wellheads and production trees. Contact us today for all your wellhead equipment, frac rental, and oilfield equipment rental needs!

An oilfield supply company falls under the umbrella term of oilfield service company. An oilfield supply company is more specific. Oilfield supply companies supply parts and components, as well as other services that could be outsourced, such as accounting and finance, to oilfield service companies.


Most oilfield supply companies are in the realm of manufacturing or supplying all of the parts it takes to run drilling equipment. Northern Oilfield Services, for example, specializes in providing and servicing wellhead equipment and renting drilling equipment and fracing equipment to oilfield service companies. Many such oilfield supply companies choose a specialty area.

An oilfield service company is an all-encompassing term that refers to companies that service the oil and gas industry, i.e. helps get oil out of the ground through the supply chain to the processing plants. This is usually on the production side of oil and gas. In general, these companies manufacture, repair, and maintain oilfield equipment that is used in the extraction of oil from the ground.

The black and white picture of black oil spouting from the ground is frankly untrue, and only happened in a special circumstance. Crude oil is what resides in the ground. In essence, it’s unrefined oil or petroleum. It is a naturally occurring substance formed from hydrocarbons and organic matter that has decomposed. Crude oil, when refined, becomes usable products such as fuel and plastics for our use. Crude oil is basically the remains of long-dead plants and animals that have been compressed over thousands of years in sedimentary rock, such as sandstone, limestone, and shale. Sedimentary rock itself is layers of sediment, containing dead plants and animals, that is formed into rock first, and then transformed from the pressure of other rocks on top into crude oil.

Crude oil is extracted from the ground in various processes.

Exploration and discovery.

First, crude oil has to be found. Luckily for all of us who depend on oil and gas, crude oil is less dense than water, meaning it rises towards earth’s surface until it becomes trapped underneath rock that is less-porous than itself.


These discovered pockets of crude oil reservoirs are then drilled into by drilling companies to extract the oil. This part of the industry is where Northern Oilfield Services fits in. We supply wellheads to oilfield service companies so they can drill into these pockets and extract the oil. A little known fact about drilling companies that most people outside of the oil and gas industry do not know is that most drilling companies contract their work out to — you guessed it — oilfield service companies who do the actual drilling. Once the oil well is drilled, oil just doesn’t                                      magically flow to the top.

Many other oilfield service companies then enter the picture and perform their niche job in the oilfield drilling process. This can include logging, cementing, casing, perforating, fracturing, and maintenance. This is also where Northern Oilfield Services based out of Williston, ND, comes in. We maintain and rent wellhead equipment and frac equipment, which perform key components of the oilfield extraction process.


The list of oilfield service companies and the jobs they perform is dizzying. From seismic testing, directional services for horizontal drillers, fracing, completion, well construction, wireline, and coil tubing, oilfield service companies run the gamut.

Oilfield service companies haven’t really been around all that long. This is due to the fact that major oil companies, such as Exxon and Shell, were doing all of the production and extraction of oil themselves for many years. This all changed in the late 1990s when the major oil companies began to merge, such as Exxon-Mobil and BP-Amoco. The mergers were prompted to create synergies whereby both companies could save money by combining resources that previously both had been doing separately. However, an unintended consequence of these oilfield mergers were that frequently the oilfield companies had many people doing the exact same thing. Many inefficiencies were created that were becoming drains on the oilfield companies. Hence, they decided to spin these off into their own companies so that the processes could be better managed, thus creating oilfield service companies that served oilfield companies.

These newly-created oilfield service companies now provide the majority of the technology, assets, and people that are a result of the many products made from oil that we utilize. There are three main reasons why oilfield service companies are so efficient as opposed to when they were part of a huge oilfield company that also engaged in exploration and discovery:

  1. Economies of scale. As most people know who have a basic understanding of economics knows, when costs go down and production goes up, you have incredible innovation, competition, and technology innovation that causes the industry as a whole to grow. Keeping these services in big oilfield companies would not have offered any additional impetus for such.
  2. Capital efficiency. By servicing a wider range of clients with only one or two services, you can perform more jobs and thus receive a better return on capital.
  3. Accountability. There is no one to pass the buck to if a particular job of one company fails but that company. With so many hands in the pot, big oilfield companies had many people to blame and nothing would ever get done.

If you go to any major oilfield producing region, you may be surprised to hear about rig counts or even to see the rig count published in the local paper. Rig counts are important to the oilfield service industry because they are a good indication of demand for their oilfield services. Rig counts have been counted and published since 1944. The logic behind rig counts goes as such: when rigs are active, they will consume more goods and services offered by oilfield service companies. Recently, well counts (or the counting of wells and not oilfield rigs themselves) have been used to measure the profits of oilfield service companies. This has come about due to the increased use of pad welling, which is when there are more than one well drilled at a drill site. It plays to logic that the more wells you have, the more money you are making because you are pumping out more crude oil than the guy who isn’t using well pads. In reality, both have meaning on the overall strength of the oilfield industry; they are just different ways to measure it.

Another measure of the health and vibrancy of the oilfield services industry is oilfield equipment rentals and orders. New orders of new equipment means there is demand for more oilfield jobs. From rig orders, floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) orders, to underwater equipment orders and drilling packages, new oilfield equipment and rentals are a good thing in the oilfield service and oilfield supply industry.

Northern Oilfield Services specializes in frac equipment rental for the fracking process. Hydraulic fracturing has brought life to many older wells that had been retired for production. Hydraulic fracturing has been around since 1947. Hydraulic fracturing injects fracking fluid (primarily sand, water, and proprietary chemicals) at an extremely high pressure into a wellbore to create cracks in the bedrock. This allows natural gas and petroleum to flow more freely and allows more to flow. Hydraulic fracturing has garnered attention because of the increase in technology that has brought these old wells back to life. Hydraulic fracturing has helped the United States remain one of the biggest producers of crude oil in the world.

Renting frac equipment for your oilfield service company is a prudent way to obtain top-of-the-line fracking and drilling equipment for a great price, which includes having your fracking equipment serviced by Northern Oilfield Services based out of Williston. We offer christmas trees, casing heads, tubing spools, flow trees, and so much more for your convenience. Training your staff on frac equipment maintenance can be tedious and time-consuming. Allow us to help you save money by taking this process off your hands.

Wellheads are the equipment that you see on the top of a drilled well. A wellhead works in conjunction with the casing strings by providing the suspension point and pressure seals for the casing strings. When drilling for crude oil, you are dealing with constant pressures from within the earth. In order to control the pressure at the surface of the earth, a part known as the BOP (blowout preventer) is used. A blowout (which, as you can imagine, is not something you want on your well site) occurs when something in the drilling process gets out of balance, such as the drilling fluids, casings, wellheads, or the BOP unit itself. Hence, wellheads are critical to the drilling process.

Production trees are commonly called Christmas trees in the oilfield supply industry because they resemble decorative Christmas trees. Production trees are used once hydraulic fracturing has been performed and the Christmas frac tree has been removed. Production trees are smaller than frac trees, and they tend to have smaller bores and lower pressure ratings than frac trees.

Many people get Christmas trees confused with wellheads. The fact of the matter is that they work together in the oilfield services industry in order to bring oil to the surface. A Christmas tree is all of the valves, spools, and fittings that are used to control what goes in and out of a wellbore. A wellhead has to be present in order to use a Christmas tree. However, a wellhead is used alone during drilling operations.

The wellhead’s main job is to control the pressure associated with drilling an oil well. It also is involved in the insertion of fluids into the wellbore. Sometimes, when surface wells do not require a pump, do not use Christmas trees because there is no pressure to control. Northern Oilfield Services in Williston, provides Christmas tree rentals as well.

Northern Oilfield Services is an oilfield supply company based in Williston that helps oilfield service companies do their job more effectively and more efficiently. Our mission is to help you with your wellhead equipment and frac equipment rental needs. We also maintain drilling rental equipment, or production tree equipment, as well and frac equipment. We have got all of your frac rental equipment needs covered, from flow trees and tree assemblies to tubing and casing heads and spools. We also provide pressure testing and well maintenance services.

Northern Oilfield Services also offers wellhead and valve maintenance service, both at our Williston shop or in the field. In the field maintenance of your wellhead equipment is very cost-effective for your oilfield service company. By having your wellhead and valves regularly inspected and maintained, you will increase the life cycle of all valves. We also sell wellhead equipment, as well as refurbish them.

Our goal is to help your oilfield services company reduce the repair and replacement costs of your drilling equipment in order to save you money in the long run. Regular maintenance of your wellhead and frac equipment helps you to find issues with your equipment before they become huge problems. We can also inventory your oilfield equipment as well, noting condition and age.

Our additional oilfield equipment services include:

  • Warehouse and inventory control
  • Repair and refurbish equipment
  • Iron rental, including frac iron rental
  • Wellhead and valve service and sales

Northern Oilfield Services wants to help you reduce downtime on your oilfield job site due to equipment failure and reduce repair costs. Give us a call for your oilfield equipment rental today!