Patterson-UTI Energy 2016 Update – $319M Loss

Each month MDN tracks how many rigs oilfield services company Patterson-UTI Energy reports operating–as a proxy for when/if the drop in rig counts for the Marcellus/Utica will turn around. Patterson operates a number of rigs in the northeast, as well as other areas of the continental United States (and Canada). Patterson’s rig count kept sinking month by month until June 2016 when things turned around. Since last June, Patterson has reactived and began running new rigs (higher rig count) in each successive month. Just last week Patterson released their numbers for January and once again it was good news (see Patterson-UTI Jan Rig Count – Continues to Climb). However, financially speaking it’s not all butterflies and unicorns for Patterson. Yesterday the company released its fourth quarter and full year 2016 numbers. Patterson lost $78 million in 4Q16 (compared with losing $59 million in 4Q15), and lost $319 million for all of 2016 (vs. losing $294 million for all of 2015). Looming on the horizon is Patterson’s buyout of, and merger in, of Seventy Seven Energy (see Seventy Seven Energy Throws in the Towel, Sells to Paterson-UTI). Seventy Seven Energy (SSE) is the old Chesapeake Oilfield Operating company–spun out into a standalone company. It never did make any money, from the moment it became a standalone company. Patterson hopes by combining SSE into its own operation, they will spin some gold from straw–the straw being that both companies now lose money. They hope (gamble?) is, of course, that with a pickup in drilling, Patterson’s fortunes will change. Here’s yesterday’s update…

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