Public v Private Frac Activity

September 16, 2022
6 minutes

With the 260 frac crew ceiling showing no signs of easing, operators must compete for completions. This week we look at the changing trends in frac activity between private and public producers.

Why Does it Matter?

Private producers tend to be less disciplined compared to their public counterparts, and public producers have shown a preference for gas over oil. The recent frac crew growth in Q1 of this year was driven entirely by private producers.This is changing. Public producers are beginning to capture a greater share of crews, particularly in more gassy regions. Publics are also showing signs of embracing growth. This fits the changing narrative that we have observed from operators like Chesepeake and EQT which have made clear their intentions to grow gas production. Chesapeake announced yesterday their plans to divest from their more oily Eagle Ford position and focus on the gassier Haynesville and Marcelus regions.

There are early signs that public producers are favoring the Haynesville and Marcellus. How does this potentially impact gas production? Wells in the Haynesville can be up to 20 times more productive from a gas perspective than wells in the Permian. As we have stated before any regional reallocation of frac crews could benefit gas production. Any change is likely to be slow as ancillary services like water, sand and gathering must be placed into service long before frac crews arrive. The data right now supports the view that this change is beginning to take shape. We will be closely watching frac counts in the Haynesville for further signs that frac activity will growth.

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