The effects of high oil prices are finally reflecting on companies' financials. In fact, they are turning out to be a boon for anyone even remotely associated with the oil industry – and contracting services are no exception.

Deep sea contractor Helix Energy Solutions (NYSE: HLX) has managed to turn around losses neatly in its fiscal first quarter, thanks to booming energy prices. Looking backward and forward, I think this is just the beginning of a bullish pattern for Helix.

With exploration and production operations forming a second segment in the company's overall energy strategy, Helix has turned a first-quarter $17.8 million net loss that it posted a year ago into a $25.8 million net profit. Not surprisingly, the bigger chunk of revenue growth came from oil and gas operations, which grew by a whopping 86%, while contracting services showed only a 10.7% corresponding growth.

Operating income stood at $52.1 million -- a huge step forward, compared to the $29.4 million operating loss that the company registered the previous quarter. Compared to five-star CAPS stock Global Industries (Nasdaq: GLBL), Helix is showing far greater profitability numbers -- and Fools should take notice. Global Industries is yet to post a double-digit figure for operating income since September 2009.

A hopeful turnaround
I believe that the contracting services segment will post a bigger turnaround this year once the government starts increasing drilling permits for the Gulf of Mexico. Helix contracts with companies that are into deepwater exploration in the Gulf. With 17% of its consolidated revenues for 2010 coming from BP (NYSE: BP), this segment was bound to suffer. But I'm willing to bet that is going to change quickly going forward, especially with $4 gasoline looming on the horizon.

The Foolish bottom line
The long-term prospects look good. With a large portion of revenues coming from big oil companies, Helix will definitely look to consolidate its position as a leader in this segment. Other than BP, Shell (NYSE: RDS-A)(NYSE: RDS-B) contributed 29% of the company's consolidated revenues last year. This will only see an improvement in the coming days, given the overall situation in the global energy market. Foolish investors will definitely see opportunity here despite this stock having only a three-star CAPS rating!

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.