American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2020 - 34

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Active Frac Spread Counts
Showing Tenuous Recovery
By Matt Johnson
and Mark Rossano
HOUSTON-Headwinds in the global market

For now, however, oil and gas company

will likely continue to hinder the activation

balance sheets are stressed, and with a re-

of completion crews in the remainder of

luctant investment community, activity has

2020 as the oil and gas industry, along with

been limited as producers are forced to live

other economic sectors, continues to face

within their means. This has shifted the

challenges both domestically and abroad.

narrative from production growth to trying

Through the remainder of the year, we see

to stay ahead of unforgiving decline curves.

completion activity rebounding from second-

The rapid decline curves of shale are well

quarter lows to reach a peak of 115 crews,

known, and as eyes turn to 2021, the goal

but averaging closer to 105 per week as a lot

has been to manage company production

of equipment remains on the sidelines.

declines. If nothing is done to offset deple-

The length of time that equipment sits in

tion, an operator can face a 20%-25% annual

the yard will dictate how quickly it can

decline in production volumes, which would

return to the field, if at all. Cold-stacked

take significant investment to not only stave

equipment needs care and attention in order

off, but to return to some form of growth in

to preserve its useful life, and between

2021 and beyond.

Mother Nature and companies stripping

To put that into perspective, losing 25%

parts to maintain running spreads, a large

of the production base to depletion would

portion will be unavailable once the market

be the equivalent of losing all the daily oil

starts to improve. Fleet attrition and canni-

production from the Bakken plus half of

balism mean reduced capacity going forward,

the Permian's output. As with frac spread

which eventually will impose fleet limitations

equipment, sitting idle for very long is not

as commodity prices recover over time.

an option in shale plays.

34 THE AMERICAN OIL & GAS REPORTER



American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2020

Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2020 - Intro
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2020 - 1
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2020 - 2
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2020 - 3
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2020 - 4
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2020 - Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2020 - 6
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2020 - 7
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2020 - 8
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