Oilfield service firm Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. on April 23 warned investors it would see a 60% decline in activity this year as shale companies slash spending and halt activity amid an unprecedented decline in oil prices.
The company said it expects to exit the current quarter with about 70 rigs in operation, down from an average of 123 rigs at the end of last year.
Oil prices have fallen some 80% this year as the spread of coronavirus has crushed fuel demand. Benchmark U.S. crude futures traded negative for the first time ever this week as supply outstripped demand and filled up storage. They were at roughly $18 a barrel on April 23.
The Houston-based drilling contractor, which also has a hydraulic fracturing unit, said it expects four frack fleets to run in the second quarter, down from an estimate of around 10 earlier this year.
“I think the term ‘frack holiday’ may be overstating what’s going on,” Patterson-UTI CEO Andy Hendricks told investors on a call. “I don’t see completions making a bounce back, certainly not in the third quarter.”
Patterson on April 23 also slashed its dividend by half to 2 cents a share and said it was not planning any additional buybacks at the moment. It said it would instead focus on its cost-cutting program to shore up the balance sheet.
The company reported a net loss of $435 million in the quarter as it took impairment charges of over $400 million on goodwill relating to its contract drilling business and some oil exploration-related assets.
Patterson’s larger rivals, Schlumberger NV, Halliburton Co. and Baker Hughes Co., have each also reported billions of dollars in impairment charges in recent weeks.
Patterson’s cost-cutting efforts will focus on its pressure pumping business that breaks shale rocks to release trapped oil and gas. It expects two-thirds of a $100 million reduction to come from that unit, the company said.
On an adjusted basis, Patterson’s 45 cents per share loss was slightly better than the 47 cents per share estimated by analysts, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
Here’s a snapshot of recent energy deals including Permian Basin acquisitions by U.S. Energy Development comprising interests in oil development projects in the Delaware Basin.
Here’s a quicklist of oil and gas assets on the market including certain a Samson Resources nonop / royalty package across several states plus an operated acquisition / farm-in opportunity in Wyoming’s D-J Basin.
Samson Resources Co. retained EnergyNet for the sale of multiple properties across several states in the U.S. Lower 48 through an auction closing March 31. The offering is comprised of a 42 property package including nonoperated working interest, royalty interest and ORRI plus leasehold, mineral and surface acreage.