The reader who submitted Friday's window writes:
I’m in the Energy sector supply business, and my company helps US manufacturers market their products overseas. I can tell you this recession has put a lot of hurt on people in the oil industry. With the price of oil plummeting most US equipment manufacturing companies had their backlogs dry up because of the lower rig count. At one point, you had over 2000 Rigs drilling in the US, today we have slightly over 1000. Many companies saw +50% drops in their sales figures due to the drop in rigs.
The good news? Because we work internationally, we had our best year ever last year as a exporter of US goods.
When the business dries up in the states, most manufacturers went international for the first time. Algeria for example has nearly 80% of its economy tied into their energy exports. The drill regardless of price per barrel (relatively speaking) and when you drill you need equipment. When we started our company in the late 90’s we had to court domestic manufacturers to work with us in foreign markets. Now, we get to choose which ones we work with because they are all determined to not let another downturn ruin them. In a sense, they are now diversifying their portfolio by looking outside of their usual borders. US oilfield equipment manufacturers selling internationally used to be a nice luxury, now it’s almost required.