Spears & Associates is a market research consulting firm, advising clients in a variety of ways on oilfield equipment and service markets, technologies, and trends. Over the last 5 decades, the firm has conducted several thousand bespoke market research consulting engagements around the world, offshore and on land.

Consulting engagements tend to fall into four categories:

M&A Due Diligence

In the last 10 years, most of our consulting has been in support of potential acquisitions. The typical client is a private equity firm, but a large number of clients every year are service companies who need extra help evaluating the opportunity. Deals have ranged in size from KKR’s take-private of Gardner Denver to the acquisition of a regional water hauler in North Dakota. Each year we’ll be asked to look at 100-200 deals, of which 30-40 will be full engagements. Engagement period will be 1 week to 2 months.

Bespoke Research

In the last 50 years, this has been our firm’s core business – helping oilfield service companies evaluate a market or a new business opportunity to support organic growth or to direct R&D spending. The typical client is a large or mid-tier oilfield service company in the US, Canada or Europe who needs an independent view of an opportunity. Engagements usually last 1 month.


More and more often, the boards of companies are seeking our advice on how to steer the direction of their company. Should a drilling-focused service company get into completions? Should an aggressive US oil company buy its own frac fleet? Where should a European industrial company make its first investment in the oilfield equipment sector? How can an Asian investor participate in the globalization of Shale technology? These engagements last 1-3 months.

Initial Public Offerings

IPOs of oilfield service companies usually have an independent evaluation of the market as part of the filings the company will make. Spears has supported all IPOs of oilfield service companies around the world in the last 5 years. In addition to our IPO work, most information memoranda on private companies being offered for sale include Spears-generated research. These engagements last 1-2 months.

Here is the typical process for a consulting engagement:

  • Initial client discussion to determine if the client’s needs fit Spears’ abilities.
  • Preparation of proposal, including scope, research steps, timing and cost.
  • Acceptance of proposal with modifications, if necessary.
  • Execution of research, including review of internal research and customer interviews.
  • Periodic updates to the client.
  • Final analysis and report preparation.
  • Presentation to the client.

John or Richard Spears take the lead on all engagements and are involved in every aspect of the work. Therefore, we are careful to keep the number of concurrent engagements low.