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 or contact us at



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.