Halliburton was spending £15,000 a year renting pot plants before the oil price downturn forced the energy service company to rethink its frivolous ways.
Bill Hunter, Halliburton’s Aberdeen-based UK cementing manager, said the company has learned its lesson and is now squeezing the pennies.
“We are looking at little things. For some reason we were renting plants for £15,000 a year,” Mr Hunter said during a panel discussion on cost efficiency at the Oil and Gas UK annual conference.
“In what kind of world does that happen? That was maybe part of the hubris that developed before. Now we are looking at every penny.”
He also said employees at the company had a big part to play in improving cost efficiency.
He said: “I have a team of 150 and every week we meet to talk about cost efficiency. Even with the morale problem affecting the industry people are ready to help drive cost efficiency and that would not have been possible 18 months ago.
Colette Cohen, Centrica’s senior vice-president, UK and the Netherlands, said the industry was skilled at improving cost efficiency when it focuses specifically on one area, but that gains are quickly lost when the attention shifts elsewhere.
Ms Cohen said: “We need an everyday focus to make what we are doing sustainable. For example, if we look at wrench time every day we can make brilliant improvements, but if we stop analysing it for six months we’ll be back where we started.”