Following the CEO's comments that over 100,000 energy jobs will be lost this year, an executive with Weatherford International - the fifth largest US fracker - has warned half of the 41 fracking companies operating in the U.S. will be dead or sold by year-end because of slashed spending by oil companies. “We go by and we see yards are locked up and the doors are closed," said Rob Fulks, seemingly confirming what Weatherford CEO Duroc-Danner said earlier in the year, "we're now confronted with an unusually severe market contraction."
As Bloomberg reports, there were 61 fracking service providers in the U.S., the world’s largest market, at the start of last year. Now there are 41... and it's going to get a lot less...
Half of the 41 fracking companies operating in the U.S. will be dead or sold by year-end because of slashed spending by oil companies, an executive with Weatherford International Plc said.
There could be about 20 companies left that provide hydraulic fracturing services, Rob Fulks, pressure pumping marketing director at Weatherford, said in an interview Wednesday at the IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston. Demand for fracking, a production method that along with horizontal drilling spurred a boom in U.S. oil and natural gas output, has declined as customers leave wells uncompleted because of low prices.
Weatherford, which operates the fifth-largest fracking operation in the U.S., has been forced to cut costs “dramatically” in response to customer demand, Fulks said. The company has been able to negotiate price cuts from the mines that supply sand, which is used to prop open cracks in the rocks that allow hydrocarbons to flow.
Oil companies are cutting more than $100 billion in spending globally after prices fell. Frack pricing is expected to fall as much as 35 percent this year, according to PacWest, a unit of IHS Inc.
“We go by and we see yards are locked up and the doors are closed,” he said. “It’s not good for equipment to park anything, whether it’s an airplane, a frack pump or a car.”
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While 'stability' in oil prices remains the status quo, it appears the industry cannot manage on that alone (and given the pricing of recent resource-related junk bond offerings, they will not have the luxury of cheap financing to enable them to keep running).