Frac Spread Count 2.0 – June 2016

PVFSC-6-6-2016

click on the image above to see it in full size

by Jake Stevens

Have you prepared for the inevitable?

While a lot of focus is on permits and even the rig count over the last 30 or 40 years, we’ve been distributing a new metric that propelled Primary Vision into the mainstream in the summer of 2015, one we believe is the most important metric of frac activity.  We call it the Primary Vision Frac Spread Count (I might refer to it as the PVFSC or the FSC for the rest of this blog).

A quick summary of what the PVFSC is.  Simply put its a metric for the highest daily value of active frac spreads for a given week.

Ok great, but what exactly is a frac spread.  Well, lets start telling you what it isn’t.  It has nothing directly to do with natural gas prices (the crack spread), natural gas refiners (the fractionation spread) or the value gained from the sale of any natural gas liquid.

Primary Vision knows the who (pressure pumper), where, when, how many, and in most cases what the service providers are pumping, but it doesn’t stop there. We also know for what operators they are pumping for.

To summarize for every frac spread we know the following:

1) Days Active
2) Location
3) Pressure Pumper
4) Operator
5) Volumes of water, proppant, chemicals pumped

This allows us to know the number of active fleets on a given day and allows for the creation of the Primary Vision Frac Spread Count.

We give away for free, updated every week ,the Primary Vision Frac Spread Count National number.  This you can find here. Its updated by 10am every Friday.  Sign up for the free national report and you’ll get an email sent out weekly that includes the historical frac spread data plus the frac spread data for the previous week.  Use the chart and the data as you wish, all we’re asking is that you source us when using the data/image in a commercial capacity.

Its free, and yes you can get started today.

In a few days we’ll highlight what you get with the paid subscription for the Primary Vision Granular Frac Spread Count or you can reach out to us at info@pvmic.com to learn more.

 

What’s happening at Primary Vision

originalby Matt Johnson

Primary Vision is growing and is looking at 2016 as a year of opportunity.  Here are a few things that have happened and are happening:

We contributed to an article on proppant in HZ fracs just awhile back with BloombergRead that here

We contributed to an end of year report on proppant usage with the Petroleum ConnectionRead that here

We’re speaking about refracs at the forthcoming SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference at February 9th to 11th in The Woodlands.
Are you going?  Email me and let’s meet: mjohnson@pvmic.com
More information can be found here

We’re about to release our January Granular and National ReFrac report, you can learn more about that here.

We have finished our most recent round of updating our frac chemical database and boy is it something.  We believe we have the most comprehensive data set on frac chemicals available today.    Interested in seeing a sample?
Contact us: info@pvmic.com

Don’t forget that we’re now going into our 6 month of the Primary Vision Frac Spread Count.  Some interesting things are taking place with our granular frac spread count product in different oil segments.  Don’t wait another minute if you’re in upstream, midstream or a financial institution, you need this data to compliment your research.

That just brings us through the next month!  Lots more ahead of that.

Stay positive folks we can only go up from here!

-mj

Follow us on Twitter.

 

 

Marcellus Shale Market Trends Part 2: Is Average Proppant Mass Still on the Rise?

In our last post, we discussed a variety of factors that have influenced frac activity levels in the Marcellus shale, including continually rising natural gas production levels, basis differentials at regional market hubs relative to Henry Hub natural gas spot prices, and pipeline takeaway constraints. Reduced drilling and completion (D&C) activity by certain operators has been offset by increased activity by others. That said, there is little doubt that D&C activity would be more robust were it not for these factors. We also took a look at some notable acquisitions and divestments in the Appalachian Basin, the most notable of which was Southwestern Energy’s acquisition from Chesapeake Energy of 413,000 net acres and 435 wells with net production in September 2014 of 336 MMcfe.

Today, we delve into well completion designs that have been used in efforts to optimize well performance and what implications it has had for proppant use. In particular, we focus on 16 leading E&Ps active in the Marcellus.

With E&Ps in full-scale well manufacturing mode in the Marcellus, emphasis has shifted to increased operational efficiency to bring down or, at the very least, contain well construction costs. But just as we see across several oily basins, operators targeting both liquids-rich and dry-gas zones of the Marcellus (and Utica) shale have continued to fine-tune well and frac designs to optimize well performance.

In an effort to increase EURs and produce wells to their maximum potential, E&Ps in the Marcellus have been: 1) drilling increasingly longer laterals; 2) improving lateral placement in the reservoir; 3) increasing frac stage counts per well; 4) using shorter stage lengths (SSL) and reduced cluster spacing (RCS) completions (tighter spacing between stages and more perforations or “perfs” per lateral). RCS completions were first adopted in the Marcellus, and operators have been using the technique since early-2012. As Credit Suisse has suggested, RCS completions have become “almost universally adopted in the Marcellus.” Operators are more commonly evaluating well costs and economics based on per-lateral-foot basis.

In April 2012, Range Resources announced that 2 wells using RCS completions produced at twice the initial production rate (IP-rate) as compared to non-RCS wells on the same well pad. In September 2013, Antero Resources commented that using RCS frac designs in 17 liquids-rich Marcellus wells resulted in incremental frac costs that averaged 20% higher than previous designs ($2 million vs. $1.5 million per well). But the operator saw IP-rates increase by 25-35% compared to similar wells in the area. CONSOL Energy commented that when it first used RCS on two wells in early-2012, IP-rate improvements over non-RCS wells were not meaningful. However, the operator observed that after 15 months of production history, these two wells were 20% and 40% above the type curve, respectively.

What is the implication of all of this for proppant? Longer laterals, SSL/RCS completions, and increased stage counts per well all in isolation lead to increased proppant. But the contemporaneous adoption of all of these practices has led to significant increases in average proppant mass pumper per well.

We categorized 16 publicly-traded operators into peer groups as outlined in the table below. The E&Ps have collectively accounted for approximately 75% of frac activity in the Marcellus since 2012.

Marcellus Top-16 Operators

Notes: XTO Energy operates autonomously as a subsidiary of ExxonMobil and manages US Land upstream operations on behalf of its parent company; E&P categorization reflects that of Raymond James

The proppant mass index presented below uses weighted averages based on the number of wells frac’ed by operators within each peer group. The chart reflects growth of average proppant mass per well using 2011 Q4 as a base of comparison.

Marcellus-Average-Proppant-Mass-Index-12Q1-14Q3

Marcellus Average Proppant Mass Index (12Q1-14Q3)

Sources: Primary Vision

The findings are rather staggering. As a collective, average total proppant mass per well is up 2.3x between 2011 Q4 and 2014 Q3. Our analytics reveal that as a collective group, average proppant mass per well has increased at a 32% CAGR between 2012 and 2014.

As this trend has played out, it has had cascading impacts across the upstream supply chain. After a surge of manufacturing capacity expansion during 2012 and 2013 led to an oversupply and falling pricing, frac sand suppliers have seen significant demand growth bring the market back closer to balance over the past ~12 months and have realized . Proppant logistics have been challenging due to chronic shortages of rail cars and truck-trailers as well as intermittently by weather. During 2014, operators have reported delays scheduling frac due to temporary sand shortages. Certain frac services providers have commented that proppant hauling costs essentially doubled overnight during spring 2014 – sand haulers appeared to be colluding by simultaneously charging a per-truck day rate rather than on a per-load basis. Some frac services providers have rushed to lock in long-term supply agreements with sand suppliers.

Primary Vision’s customers leverage our Big Data solutions to gain meaningful insights on the latest market dynamics and act accordingly. By staying ahead of the curve, they can make data-driven tactical and strategic decisions that help increase their bottom line.