Former ExxonMobil (XOM) CEO Rex Tillerson faces a tough confirmation hearing on Wednesday given bipartisan opposition to his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, if he is confirmed, the playing field for oilfield services companies could expand considering Tillerson's and Donald Trump's friendly stance on Russia.
Established players Schlumberger (SLB) , Halliburton (HAL) , Baker Hughes (BHI) and Weatherford International (WFT) would all benefit from Russian sanctions being lifted because "the current sanctions limit sales of technology in deepwater, shale and Arctic," says Credit Suisse's Managing Director of Energy Equity Research, James Wicklund.
Separately, Barclays is bullish on the industry, with a Positive view, as they see investors moving out of Integrateds and E&Ps and into oilfield services. The firm prefers Halliburton, U.S. Silica Holdings (SLCA) , Forum Energy Technologies (FET) , Superior Energy Services (SPN) and Dril-Quip (DRQ) in the space.
Tillerson has also expressed a "wait and see" approach with Iran, whose sanctions were lifted last year.
"The history of Iranian -- in foreign investment in the past, their terms were always quite challenging, quite difficult," Tillerson said in March on CNBC. "We'll wait and see if things open up for U.S. companies."