Pressure pumper Liberty Oilfield Services Inc. will wait to deploy its newest hydraulic fracturing fleet until market conditions improve, CEO Chris Wright said at a conference in Denver on Aug. 12.
The Denver-based company is currently running 23 pressure pumping fleets and has taken delivery of a 24th. However, the market remains soft amid an oversupply of equipment, Wright said, prompting his company to hold off on deployment.
Oilfield service companies raced to build hydraulic fracturing fleets in recent years on hopes that producers would work through a backlog of drilled-but-uncompleted (DUCs) wells.
However, the number of U.S. DUCs hit record levels this year as oil prices fell and investors pressured operators to tighten spending. In June, there were an estimated 8,248 uncompleted wells, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, up roughly 19% from a year ago.
The contract will extend by 20 years the current contract with the same companies that will expire in late 2023.
The company plans to start Aerfugl production in first-half 2020, three years ahead of what had originally been billed as the field’s second phase.
The new deadline applies to the second bid round for onshore and offshore blocks that the state energy firm launched last May, a spokesman told Reuters.