[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the January 2021 issue of Oil and Gas Investor magazine.]
A new year means new beginnings for oilfield services companies, but whether the start of another decade includes are write of the past or the unexpected remains to be seen. The road back to normalcy—which is still taking shape—has been challenging for pressure pumpers. Stressed by market forces and rattled by a demand-altering pandemic, cash strapped U.S. shale players slowed activity in 2020, sending hydraulic fracturing spreads plummeting. Some pressure pumpers cracked under pressure. A few left the business altogether, while some sought bankruptcy protection. Others found strength in consolidating with peers or forming partnerships.
Though this is a hard time to talk about pressure pumpers in general, it is not all doom and gloom, said John Jameson, a senior consultant for Energy & Industrial Advisory Partners (EIAP) and former president of the Pressure Control division for Weir Oil & Gas.