Marcellus Shales Is Now the Top Destination for Frac Crews, Rising Above the Permian Basin

Marcellus Shales Is Now the Top Destination for Frac Crews, Rising Above the Permian Basin

May 22, 2020

Coinciding with lockdowns across the country and the unprecedented collapse of oil prices in April, energy companies continue to search for prospective solutions to the challenges presented by COVID-19. One noticeable development has been the shift of the tjop American fracking destination from the Permian Basin of West Texas to the Marcellus Shales of Pennsylvania.

With 31 percent of active crews in the field, the Marcellus Shales narrowly beats out the Permian Basin’s 30 percent. This shift is mainly attributed to a decrease in demand, with many hydraulic fracturing fleets remaining sidelined during the current crisis, keeping overall deployment and production stagnant.

Out of the 450 available hydraulic fracturing fleets in the United States and Canada, there are only 70 deployed in the field, according to new figures from the Houston investment advisory firm Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co.

Until the country reopens and restores the demand for fuel, crude prices will remain low and companies will have to limit production in order to avoid continued supply surpluses.

The effect of the lockdown on the U.S. shale industry can be further understood by looking at hydraulic horsepower levels.

The U.S. shale industry started the year with frac crews using 11.5 million horsepower. That number fell to 10.5 million in March down to 4.7 million in April and is expected to fall to 3.1 million horsepower in May.”

Though exact numbers and forecasts are up for debate, the extensive influence of the lockdown is clear. Current estimates predict the earliest expected recovery window to be around the end of the year.

This is setting up to be the sharpest quarter over quarter active horizontal frac crew count decline in memory,wrote George O’Leary, Managing Director for Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co., describing the magnitude of the situation.

During this emergency, the eco-left has repeatedly attempted to dismember the energy sector through sneaky stimulus legislation. Surely the lockdown loving coastal elites will celebrate the reduced fracking numbers, even if it means the rest of the country suffers.  

While the emergence of the Marcellus Shales as the top U.S fracking destination may be linked to the pandemic, it nonetheless emphasizes the vast resources available across the continent. Regrettably, this boon must be protected against sabotage, including from within our own borders. Fracking services may currently be on hold, but the battle against radical environmentalism never ends.