Halliburton’s Frac’ing Surge Is Bigger Than Reported

        On March 6, 2018, Seeking Alpha reported that Halliburton’s frac’ing fleet was surging across the country.  This is, of course, a great news story for the American oil and gas industry.  The U.S. government’s statistical agency expects both oil and gas to hit record levels of production in 2018, and almost all of the growth is coming from frac’ing.  Halliburton is a huge part of this, though there is some disagreement over just how fast Halliburton is ramping up.

Who Knows What Halliburton is Doing?

        Halliburton has a strong foothold on fracturing services in the United States (see information box below).  They’re required by law to make some disclosures, but the company is not in the business of publicizing all of its work.  As a result, industry watchers are left to make their best estimates about what Halliburton is doing.

Q1-2017

- HAL Market Share by Frac Job: 28%
- HAL Market Share by Active Spreads: 18%
Q2-2017

- HAL Market Share by Frac Job: 27%
- HAL Market Share by Active Spreads: 20%

Q3-2017

- HAL Market Share by Frac Job: 28%
- HAL Market Share by Active Spreads: 20%

Q4-2017*

- HAL Market Share by Frac Job: 28%
- HAL Market Share by Active Spreads: 20%

*data incomplete

 Our company, Primary Vision, uses sophisticated analytics to project real-time data
 on active frac’ing operations from lagging data sets.

        The article states that Halliburton grew its frac’ing fleet by 700,000 horsepower in 2017, giving it a total of more than four million horsepower of frac’ing equipment under its control.  The information in that article was supplied by Rystad, a Norwegian based company that offers consulting services and business intelligence to the oil and gas space.

        We have a slightly different view. Primary Vision estimates that Halliburton currently has 115-120 marketed frac’ing operations, called frac spreads as of the writing of this blog.  Each spread is powered by roughly 36,000 horsepower of pumping equipment and also contains other necessary equipment, like data trucks, storage tanks, and frac’ing fluid blenders.  Our estimates of both Halliburton’s active (108) and marketed spread count (115-120) ramped up much faster than others.  We think the company actually increased its fleet operations over the course of 2017 by about 1.2 million horsepower, not 700,000.

helpful definitions…

Frac Spread –  A frac spread (or sometimes referred to as a frac fleet)is a set number of equipment that a pressure pumper (oil field servicecompany) uses for hydraulic fracturing.

This includes a combination of fracturing pumps (also referred to as frac pumps and/or pumping units), data trucks, storage tanks, chemical additive and hydration units, blenders and other equipment needed to perform a frac stimulation.

Active Spread – Equipment that a pressure pumper has working or active in the field. 

Marketed Spread – Equipment that a pressure pumper has ready to work and available to work but might be in transition or in process of being deployed.

        We estimate that Halliburton went from 72 to 108 active spreads between the first and third quarters of 2017.  This run up, coincidentally or not, correlates closely with a March 2017 announcement that two competing frac’ing companies, Schlumberger and Weatherford, were going to create a joint venture called “OneStim.”  That idea was abandoned at the end of 2017, with Schlumberger instead simply buying Weatherford’s assets.

Where is the Extra Capacity Coming From?

        One unique strength of Halliburton is that the company manufactures its own frac’ing pumps.  The latest and greatest version is the Q10 pump, which is the centerpiece of the company’s “Frac of the Future” system.  Halliburton reportedly began replacing its pumps with Q10s in 2013.  When oil prices really began to crash in 2014 the company appears to have accelerated its retirement of the older pumping systems.  The company said some of its older equipment was being retired permanently while other equipment was being “cold-stacked” and could be brought back into service later.  In 2016, then CEO Dave Lesar, (he retired on June 1st of 2017 and was replaced by Jeff Miller) said that if the market ever turned around, Halliburton would have “multiple levers” it could pull, including accelerating the manufacturing and deployment of the Q10s and presumably also reactivating some of its older equipment (ie. Grizzly™ pumps).

        We believe that Halliburton has activated more of the old equipment than other analysts are assuming.  These assets were quickly deployed in response to both improved market conditions and presumably also the threat of competition from the likes of OneStim, other competitors as well as new entries such as Pro Frac, and Alamo Pressure Pumping.  As a result, Halliburton’s industry-leading frac’ing fleet contains a mix of both new and old pumps.  We estimate that Halliburton has approximately 4.2 million horsepower marketed.

Looking for data like this?

        Many businesses need to know exactly how much frac’ing is happening in the U.S. and Canda.  Primary vision’s flagship product, the Frac Spread Count, provides both high-level aggregations of industry-wide data and detailed information on each service provider’s activity in each region.  Our Frac Spread Count has grown in popularity since its inception in 2013.

Learn more:

http://www.pvmic.com/frac-spread-count

http://www.fracspreadcount.com/

contact Primary Vision directly: info@pvmic.com

Winter Has Been a Time for Frac’ing

    Primary Vision has just released the Winter Update to its flagship Frac Spread Count Report.  Many casual industry observers are familiar with the Baker Hughes count of active drilling rigs, but we believe it is just as important to track the number of active hydraulic fracturing operations, known as frac spreads.  These frac spreads are units made up of fracturing pumps, data trucks, storage tanks, chemical additive units, hydration units, and blenders.  We use cutting edge technology to tell our customers how many frac spreads are operating across the industry, along with granular data on each company in each shale play.

High Oil Prices Help North America Too

    The Winter Update validates our previous predictions that, at least in a number of key basins, the industry is focusing on completing already-drilled wells.  The drilled, yet uncompleted, wells are called “DUCS.”  Many analysts have taken to calling America’s DUCS the “fracklog.”  This abundance of pre-drilled wells allows American producers to ramp up production quickly if (and when) OPEC tries to drive up prices.

    Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows the number of DUCS at a record 7,483.  Saudi Arabia is seeking to open its state oil company up to investors by the end of 2018, and it needs a high oil price to get the best possible deal.  To that end, the Saudis have been doing their best to enforce production quotas on OPEC members.  We believe based on our research that the OPEC deal on quotas is likely to hold for longer than most in the industry assume.

    Rising oil prices have a very direct effect on the number of frac jobs completed each year.  The count of active frac spreads has risen only slightly, because the U.S. fleet is largely already deployed, but the number of frac jobs completed is rising.  27,838 frac jobs were completed in 2014 before oil prices collapsed, and then the number dropped to 16,930 in 2015 and appears to have bottomed out in 2016 at 9,650.  Activity has now turned around and in 2017, 11,826 frac jobs were completed as of the writing of this article (PV believes the total will be closer to 13,000 after all completion reports are filed). 2018 will continue the surge.

More Frac’ing Than Drilling

    Most government and industry forecasts are overly focused on drilling and fail to properly account for completions.  Their data is also often based on information that is dreadfully out of date, as it can take months for well activity to be reported, if it is at all.  The EIA, for example, now estimates that U.S. crude will hit a record average of 10.6 million barrels per day in 2018 and gas will also hit a record of 80.3 billion cubic feet per day.  We believe these estimates fail to account for the near full deployment of frac spreads.

    Primary Vision continues to predict that companies will focus on DUCS, leading to more frac spreads than active drilling rigs in many regions.  For example, in the DJ Basin-Niobrara, active frac spreads surpassed drilling rigs in early 2017 and have maintained a steady lead.

    Similar dynamics were at play in the Williston and Utica plays.  We also look for operators to further explore the Duvernay and Montney formations which seem oil-abundant in western Canada.

Get Your National Frac Spread Count Winter Update Today

    Our reports are trusted by companies large and small, as they are a unique source of both industry-wide frac’ing activity along with more detailed data focused on each company and each play.  Our proprietary system collects data from countless public and private sources and uses sophisticated techniques to produce real time frac spread counts from this sometimes dated and incomplete data.  We also have detailed data on water, proppant, and chemical usage.  Get in touch with us today to subscribe to our reports or just order a sample.

2017 Frac Maps – Canada

A couple weeks ago we released our U.S. Frac basin map for free.  You can get that one here.  This week, we’re releasing our Canada frac basin maps. Canada is rich in natural resources, but has experienced a painful decline in activity due to recent market conditions. In terms of spread activity we see the U.S. experiencing 10-1 the activity over Canada, however this could change as the market begins to recover over the next 12-18 months.

Feel free to share this map, use it in a presentation or print it out!  Just make sure to source Primary Vision, Inc.

THE MOST RECENT OFFERING FROM US AT PRIMARY VISION IS THE FRAC SPREAD COUNT REPORT, WHICH OFFERS BOTH WEEKLY UPDATES ON PROJECTED ACTIVITY AND ACCESS TO OUR HISTORICAL DATA.  CUSTOMERS CAN GET THE INFORMATION IN TOP-LINE CHARTS THAT CAN BE EASILY DIGESTED OR THROUGH THE REAMS OF MORE GRANULAR DATA THAT WE ALSO SUPPLY.  YOU CAN SUBSCRIBE TO OUR REPORT AT WWW.FRACSPREADCOUNT.COM.  YOU CAN ALSO CONTACT AT INFO@PVMIC.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION OR A DEMONSTRATION ON HOW OUR PRODUCTS CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS.

Using Big Data To Map Out the Frac’ing Landscape

chart3

by Matthew Johnson

Big Data is radically changing how businesses makes decisions.  Where intuition used to dominate, companies are now thinking carefully about the kinds of questions that come up in their work and how Big Data can help answer them. In the oil and gas business, companies often want to know where drilling and fracturing is happening so they can find markets for their services.  Other companies want to get a detailed market outlook so they can determine if they need to expand or cut back on costs.  Billy Bosworth, the CEO from DataStax, one of the top cloud computing companies, has a saying that “Ten years from now, when we look back on how this era of big data has evolved…We will be stunned at how uninformed we used to be when we made decisions.”  This quote, now a couple years old, is still extremely relevant.

Ten Years from Now,
When We Look Back at
How This Era of Big Data Evolved…

We Will Be Stunned at How
Uniformed We Used to Be
When We Made Decisions

-Billy Bosworth, DataStax CEO (2015)

I was thinking about this recently while reading a blog post from Tom Smith at the Big Data Zone.  He interviewed a couple dozen executives involved in Big Data and then shared some interesting insights.  He says that companies should remember where data is coming from, and that “mixing corporate crown jewels with crap from the internet is not smart.”  Curated data must be cleaned up, and there are a variety of ways of doing this.  The real value of Big Data, in Mr. Smith’s view, then comes from continuously analyzing the data you have collected to search for new insights.  The best things to find in the data are “simple, yet valuable” insights that are easily understood yet not available from traditional data processing.

 Taking The Next Steps

The recommendations from Mr. Smith are very much in line with what we do at Primary Vision.  The “jewels” of our data sets are collected from a variety of target sources and no two databases are the same.  While the raw data might be useful to some, the process to which we validate this data is what separates us from the competition.  This cleansing process requires two important keys: time and customer feedback. This investment is an important one, one that will make you better at your job and ultimately your company more profitable so make sure everyone is on the same page commitment-wise.  you cannot leverage big data unless you’re willing to commit time and feedback to your provider.  if you take anything from this blog, its that last sentence.

 Make Our Big Data Work For You

Rarely we get clients who just want a simple output.  They come to us for useful intelligence about the fracturing marketplace in North America.  We use our data sets to produce analysis in a format that can be readily used.  With your help and time, we can uncover your jewels to help you make better actionable decisions.

The most recent offering from us at Primary Vision is the Frac Spread Count Report, which offers both weekly updates on projected activity and access to our historical data.  Customers can get the information in top-line charts that can be easily digested or through the reams of more granular data that we also supply.  You can subscribe to our report at www.fracspreadcount.com.  You can also contact at info@pvmic.com for more information or a demonstration on how our products can help your business.

sources:

Michael Li, Madina Kassengaliyeva, and Raymond Perkins at hbr.orgBetter Questions to Ask Your Data Scientists

Disclaimer

The data presented above has a margin of error of 5-8% as a result of E&P and/or service company errors or incorrect data filings. Neither the information, nor any opinion contained in this site constitutes a solicitation or offer by Primary Vision or its affiliates to buy or sell any securities, futures, options or other financial instruments or provide any investment advice or service.

Halliburton Looks to Keep Jacking Up Prices

by Matthew Johnson

Every company treated the recent downturn in oil prices differently.  For Halliburton, one of the top oil and gas service companies in the world, the strategy was to gather up market share at the expense of profits.  That strategy seems to have been executed.  Halliburton released its financial results for the Fourth Quarter of 2016 on January 23, and the company announced a staggering operating loss of $6.8 billion.  The company did gain market share, but it seems to have grown tired of hemorrhaging cash.  It has started increasing its prices in hopes of squeezing profits from the market share it has so painfully acquired.  The early signs are good.  In fact, the company announced that it returned to operating profitability in North America in the Fourth Quarter of 2016. With completions on the comeback, this is a HUGE STORY to CONTINUE FOLLOWING.

Time to Raise Rates?

In his Fourth Quarter earnings call, Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar made clear that the company hopes to raise prices on its customers in the coming months.  We have heard the company is tired of subsidizing operators, and it is rumored that in key basins the target price increases will be as high as 40%.  Mr. Lesnar said on the call that towards the end of 2016, Halliburton made a strategic decision to stop chasing market share at the expense of profits.

U.S. Frac Spread Count for HALLIBURTON

Customers Looking Elsewhere

Halliburton has the massive scale, experience, and assets in North American operations to weather a price battle.  One of its top competitors in North America, Schlumberger, reported a net loss of $204 million in the Fourth Quarter, and it reported a desire to raise prices as well.  One of Halliburton’s other leading competitors (and former proposed merger partner), Baker Hughes, spun off its pressure pumping division into a new private company called BJ Services and then suffered a massive loss of $417mm in the Fourth Quarter of 2016 as it finalizes its merger with GE Oil & Gas.  It is hard to predict where these companies are headed after these transactions.  The changing price dynamics could open some doors for smaller service companies, and we have heard many customers are feverishly looking into low-price alternatives.  This push for understanding pressure pumper activity has been coined “Operator Fever” here at Primary Vision.

Primary Vision Closely tracks Frac Demand

Keeping up with a dynamic market can be a challenge, but Primary Vision has developed a proprietary method for channeling the latest public and private data into models that approximate the real-time state of the market.  Our extensive data on hydraulic fracturing in the United States and Alberta, Canada is now available for subscription via A quarterly report or data subscription.  To learn more, visit www.fracspreadcount.com or contact us at info@pvmic.com.

sources:

Disclaimer

The data presented above has a margin of error of 5-8% as a result of E&P and/or service company errors or incorrect data filings. Neither the information, nor any opinion contained in this site constitutes a solicitation or offer by Primary Vision or its affiliates to buy or sell any securities, futures, options or other financial instruments or provide any investment advice or service.

Don’t Sleep on the Coloradan Frac’ers

by Matthew Johnson

If you list out the companies with the most frac spreads in 2016, you are going to be looking almost exclusively at the heart of oil country, Texas Oklahoma and New Mexico.  Just go right down the list and you will see the market share is dominated by EOG (based in Houston, Texas), Chesapeake (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma), Pioneer (Irving, Texas), XTO (Ft. Worth, Texas), Anadarko (The Woodlands, Texas), and on it goes.

If you break down the number of frac jobs completed last year, however, you can see that there are some fairly significant players basing their operations in Colorado.  Anyone keeping tabs on the business should watch these companies.  The energy business is in the Rocky Mountain region is succeeding and benefitting from Denver’s popularity.  It is routinely named among the fastest-growing cities and best places for business and employees.

Discovery Natural Resources

Discovery completed about 45 frac jobs in 2016.  It is a private oil and gas company headquartered in Denver.  Interestingly, even though it is based in Colorado, the company is currently focusing its efforts on the Permian Basin in West Texas.  The company touts over six million barrels of oil production per year from more than 1,000 wells covering nearly 120,000 acres of land.  The company has said that it is well poised to handle market downturns, and press reports back that up.  E&P Magazine reported last year that the Permian Basin was handling the drop in oil prices better than any other region and that Discovery has continued to drill and relentlessly optimize its operations.

Extraction Oil & Gas

Extraction Oil and Gas frac’ed 54 wells in 2016.  Like Discovery, Extraction is based in Denver.  But Extraction actually remains focused on producing in the Rocky Mountain region.  The company was founded in 2012 and highlights its work in the Greater Wattenberg Field of the Denver-Julesburg Basin (commonly called the DJ Basin).  The company just had its initial public offering in October 2016, and it was considered wildly successful at the time, however it appears that they’re experiencing some volatility as the calendar turned to 2017.  It raised more than $630 million at a share price several dollars higher than expected.  It was the biggest energy listing in the world since the oil price crash in 2014, and the company seems poised for future success.

Keep Track of the Marketplace

Data on frac’ing operations is typically cobbled together from months-oil public regulatory filings.  Primary Vision works to approximate real-time data by collecting public and private information and then applying sophisticated math models, advanced cross-validation algorithms, and artificial intelligence to fill the gaps.  Our extensive data on hydraulic fracturing in Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma and across the rest of the U.S. (plus Alberta, Canada) is now available for sale in our new National Frac Spread Count Report.  To learn more, visit www.fracspreadcount.com or contact us at info@pvmic.com.

sources:

Disclaimer

The data presented above has a margin of error of 5-8% as a result of E&P and/or service company errors or incorrect data filings. Neither the information, nor any opinion contained in this site constitutes a solicitation or offer by Primary Vision or its affiliates to buy or sell any securities, futures, options or other financial instruments or provide any investment advice or service.

Pumpco Stays Busy in Texas

by Matthew Johnson

You can get an idea of how service companies are dealing with a challenging environment by looking at our data on specific companies, like Texas-based Pumpco Services.  The company has consolidated its operations near its home and it appears to be thriving.

A Leading Pressure Pumping Service

Pumpco Energy Services, Inc. was founded in 1982 by Ronny Ortowski, who had worked for many years in pumping.  The company provides fracturing services, using its high-pressure pumping equipment to fracture rock formations.  It also offers acid and other treatment additives to enhance production.  Finally, Pumpco offers miscellaneous pumping services, such as pump downs between well completion states.  It brags that its focus on service and controlled growth sets it apart from other service companies.

When the shale boom took off, Pumpco became a hot commodity.  It was acquired by Complete Production Services in 2007.  At the time of the merger, Pumpco had an estimated revenue of $96 million and three pressure pumping fleets in the field, with one more on the way.  Complete Production was, in turn, swallowed up by Superior Energy Services in 2012.  The deal was reportedly worth approximately $554 million in cash.  Pumpco has continued to operate under its own name, however, as a subsidiary of Superior.

Consolidation and Stable Activity

Pumpco’s controlled-growth strategy was probably not controlled enough, as during the boom years it moved a significant operation into the Bakken.  That operation, based out of Minot, North Dakota, was forced to shut down in September 2015.  The company closed up its Bakken shop, laying off 70 people and simply stating that the decision was forced by “economic conditions caused by falling oil prices.”

Since 2015, Pumpco has operated almost exclusively in Texas, with some operations also conducted in New Mexico.  The company had A MAX OF six frac spreads running every week at it peak in 2015, but in 2016 it ran between two and four most weeks.  That said, the company seems to have had a good 2016.  It has had several months with as many as nine frac jobs per month, after never exceeding eight in 2015.  The trend lines suggest 2017 could be a good year.

Primary Vision Has the Details

Keeping abreast of industry trends can be made so much easier by subscribing to the encyclopedia of data developed by Primary Vision.  Service companies do not provide this data to the public in real time, or in some cases ever.  We have developed sophisticated methods for collecting the available public filings and private announcements and using sophisticated models to predict real-time data.  Our extensive data on hydraulic fracturing in the United States and Alberta, Canada is now available for in our new National Frac Spread Count Report.  To learn more, visit www.fracspreadcount.com or contact us at info@pvmic.com.

sources:

Disclaimer

The data presented above has a margin of error of 5-8% as a result of E&P and/or service company errors or incorrect data filings. Neither the information, nor any opinion contained in this site constitutes a solicitation or offer by Primary Vision or its affiliates to buy or sell any securities, futures, options or other financial instruments or provide any investment advice or service.

Macro View of U.S. and Canada Hydraulic Fracturing

by Matthew Johnson

Oil and gas production in North America has huge ramifications across the world economy, and companies in many industries can benefit from keeping track of activity in the oil field. The most common metric is the Baker Hughes rig count, but that only tells you how many drilling rigs are active in a given week. Companies can get a much more complete picture by knowing how many hydraulic fracturing operations, or spreads, are active in a given week.

U.S. Regional Analysis

When people think of the frac’ing revolution, they often think of the contentious debates over land use in Pennsylvania or the boomtowns of North Dakota. The real leader in frac’ing has always been Texas, though. The breakthrough in the unconventional revolution came in 1997 in Texas’s Barnett Shale, where Mitchell Energy engineers discovered that they could stop using expensive gels and instead use cheaper, more watery fracking fluid to crack open shale formations to get economic production of oil and gas. Recent data shows Texas has simply continued its domination.

The state of Texas holds more than 40% of the market share of spreads nationwide

As of January 1, Texas holds more than 40% of the market share of active spreads nationwide

Over 40% of active frac’ing operations, or “spreads,” are in Texas. North Dakota and Pennsylvania come in at 10% each, as does Oklahoma. Colorado has about 7% of active spreads, Ohio has 4%, West Virginia has 2%, and Wyoming has just 1%. Major oil producing states Alaska and California have very little activity on the fracturing side.

Looking at the Eagle Ford region in Texas, the data shows that the number of active frac’ing spreads has held steady this year, even as drilling has fluctuated. The number of drilling rigs continued its plummet caused by low oil prices all the way until the end of spring, and has crept up steadily since. The coming months could be very good for the region, where many openly celebrated OPEC’s recent decision to limit oil production. American frac’ers may benefit more than select OPEC members. The comeback looks to be slow and steady along with the accompanying production bump.

Frac Spread Count in Eagle Ford region

Frac Spread Count in the Eagle Ford region of Texas

Canada Analysis

Alberta, Canada is not all tar sands. Hundreds of wells have been frac’ed in Alberta in 2016, and the rate has been increasing over the summer and into the fall. The future of frac’ing in Canada is somewhat in flux, as it has both financial and environmental concerns. On the other hand, Canada’s largest driller, Precision Drilling, just announced it will spend 60% more on capex in 2017 than it did in 2016. While Canada’s recovery has been volatile, we look for pressure pumpers to demand more equitable terms while the market continues to stabilize.

Email us at info@pvmic.com for a free output of Frac Spreads in Canada.

Primary Vision Explains Oil Field Activity

Primary Vision has developed a proprietary method for collecting public and private data on frac’ing and then applying sophisticated math models, advanced cross-validation algorithms, and artificial intelligence to fill the gaps caused by industry secrecy and delayed reporting requirements. Our extensive data on hydraulic fracturing in the United States and Alberta, Canada is now available for sale in our new National Frac Spread Count Report. To learn more, visit www.fracspreadcount.com or contact us at info@pvmic.com.

sources:

Disclaimer

The data presented above has a margin of error of 5-8% as a result of E&P and/or service company errors or incorrect data filings. Neither the information, nor any opinion contained in this site constitutes a solicitation or offer by Primary Vision or its affiliates to buy or sell any securities, futures, options or other financial instruments or provide any investment advice or service.

Tracking the Lesser-Known Frac’ers

by Matthew Johnson

Frac’ing has not been dominated by the big names you might expect. The costly technique was driven to prominence by independent producers that had to find a way to do business profitably in the United States. This is evident when you look at data on the active pressure pumpers and well operators in the United States.

Don’t Overlook Smaller Pressure Pumpers

A typical hydraulic fracturing pumper unit includes a large engine, pump, and control panel that are mounted on a truck or trailer. The pumper is part of a frac spread typically run by a well operator that includes storage tanks and additive mixers. Major well operators like Chevron and XTO/ExxonMobil hire a number of pumpers, but they tend rely heavily on the big names: Halliburton, Baker Hughes (soon to shift to the new entity BJ Services), Schlumberger to name a few. This chart below shows just how active Halliburton is:

Independent operators do not hire as many pumpers, but they tend to be more diverse in their hiring. Anadarko, for example, also utilizes the pumping services of Trican, Calfrac, FTSI, Universal, and Nabors. Pioneer Resources is a bit of an outlier in the operating world, because they’re vertically integrated.

A frac’er to watch: Keane

One smaller pumper that is worth keeping an eye on is Keane Group Inc. The company is based in Houston and run by alumni of some of the major service companies. It is currently in the midst of an initial public offering that could be worth as much as $287.5 million, and it will lead to the company being listed as “FRAC” on the New York Stock Exchange. Keane is owned by a New York-based, private-equity firm called Cerberus Capital Management, and that has allowed Keane to stay well financed during the current downturn.

Keane Group reported in a recent filing that it has 944,250 horsepower behind 23 frac’ing spreads and wireline trucks operating primarily in the Permian, Marcellus, and Williston Basins. Other reports say that 13 of those frac’ing spreads were deployed as of November 30, 2016. Data collected by Primary Vision shows a maximum of seven Keane-branded spreads active at any one time during the past 12 months.

Some of the discrepancy is likely due to the fact that Keane doubled in size in 2016 through the purchase of the U.S. operations of the Canadian service company Trican. Keane seems to be counting some of its spreads while they were still branded as Trican, and some downtime is inevitable during a merger. Looking forward, Keane says it will use proceeds from the IPO to repay debt and create working capital, and it is possible the company is positioning itself to buy additional equipment as the market turns upward. Does it make sense for Keane Group to step in and purchase Weatherford’s pressure pumping division?

This Data And More From Primary Vision

If you want to be successful in the frac’ing business, it helps to know what the pumpers are doing. Primary Vision’s new National Frac Spread Count Report can provide both top-line data on the industry and detailed data on specific companies and markets. We have collected data from a range of public and private sources and then augmented that data with our own analysis to provide a clear picture of the hydraulic fracturing happening in the United States and Alberta, Canada. To learn more, visit www.fracspreadcount.com or contact us at info@pvmic.com.

sources:

Disclaimer

The data presented above has a margin of error of 5-8% as a result of E&P and/or service company errors or incorrect data filings. Neither the information, nor any opinion contained in this site constitutes a solicitation or offer by Primary Vision or its affiliates to buy or sell any securities, futures, options or other financial instruments or provide any investment advice or service.

Rig Counts vs. Frac Spreads vs. Frac Jobs

by Matthew Johnson

When you are trying to decipher what is going on in the oil field, getting your terminology right is important.  Analysts looking at unconventional oil and gas production have a few metrics that are updated frequently, lets go over them one by one.

Rig Counts

Perhaps the best-known number in the oil business is the Baker Hughes rig count.  Baker Hughes is an oil field service company that has been issuing counts of active drill rigs since 1944.  To be “active,” a rig must be on location and turning to the right.  In other words, a rig is active from the initial cut into the ground until it reaches its target depth.  A rig is not active if it is just moving between locations, being set up, or being used for a non-drilling activity.  Non-drilling activities can including testing, workovers (which can include running a drill through an existing well), and completions (preparing an already-drilled well for production).

The Baker Hughes rig count is a prized data point because it provides a rough proxy for the amount of drilling being done at a particular time.  Analysts from all corners of the industry use the data to predict things like future production and drilling equipment needs.

Frac Spreads and Frac Jobs

A frac spread is the collection of equipment needed to hydraulically fracture a well.  This typically includes a combination of pumps, data trucks, storage tanks, chemical additive units, and blenders.  Frac spreads (and sometimes they are referred to as Frac fleets) conduct frac jobs.  A frac job typically takes a handful of days, and involved pumping fluids down a drilled well at a high pressure to fracture the rock below to allow oil and gas to flow into the well.  Frac’ing fluids typically include sand, which acts as a “proppant” to keep the fractures open.  After years of explosive growth, The tOTAL Number of frac jobs have slowed down over the last two years.  2017 looks to reverse the recent trend as operators try to lock in the recent crude market upswing.

In a sense, a count of active frac spreads and frac jobs is very similar to an active rig count.  The numbers do not always align, however. There has been much talk since the recent downturn about the “fraclog,” for example.  This is a backlog of wells that have already been drilled but have not yet gone through the costly frac’ing process.  A company that sells proppant sand, for example, should be far more interested in the number for frac jobs than the number of active drilling rigs.  As you can see in our chart that compares the two data points, counts of active rigs and active frac spreads don’t always follow each other.

National Frac Spread Count Report

The challenge with counting oil and gas industry activity is that the companies involved are not always particularly forthcoming.  Widespread frac’ing is also a relatively new phenomenon, which makes it difficult to track and predict.  Companies are often required by regulators to submit data about their frac’ing activities on a quarterly basis, so robust data is usually available but lags behind current conditions by many weeks.  In order to provide a useful count of active frac spreads and frac jobs, Primary Vision has developed a proprietary technique for collecting available data and utilizing modern math models, advanced cross-validation algorithms, and artificial intelligence to estimate frac’ing activity.

After many months of perfecting our models, Primary Vision is now providing customers with a weekly Frac Spread Count Report.  It provides a combination of important top-line data with granular activity details that can be invaluable to industry players.  You can subscribe to our report at www.fracspreadcount.com.  If you have questions about our products or would like a demonstration on how they can help your business, please feel free to contact us at info@pvmic.com.

Disclaimer

The data presented above has a margin of error of 5-8% as a result of E&P and/or service company errors or incorrect data filings. Neither the information, nor any opinion contained in this site constitutes a solicitation or offer by Primary Vision or its affiliates to buy or sell any securities, futures, options or other financial instruments or provide any investment advice or service.