2017 saw oilfield services firms shift their focus away from their Middle East operations to North America.

Middle East resilience during the 2015-16 slump in upstream spending helped the top three global oilfield services firms Schlumberger, Halliburton and GE subsidiary Baker Hughes keep their heads above water.

But, whilst this slump for most of the world continued through 2017, in the US a renewed shale boom is now in full swing, with spending to match – Halliburton CEO Jeff...