Frac Spreads – What They Are and What They Portend for 2020

While the drilling rig count is an important signal for the future of oil (and gas) production, drilling a hole in the ground is only half of the process (and only one-third of the cost). After the hole is drilled comes “completions”–fracking and other work to get the hole producing and connected to a pipeline. Fracking is done by a collection of equipment–things like high-pressure pumps. It’s known in the industry as a “frac spread” (or a “frac fleet”). Counting the number of frac spreads is a better indicator of how much oil will come online than counting active rigs. What does the frac spread count show right now? How quickly will U.S. oil production decrease?

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