Average Workers at Top Marcellus Drillers Make $100K+ Salary

The average worker who works for producers (i.e. drillers) in the Pennsylvania Marcellus makes among the highest average salaries of any industry in the state. Looking at six of the state’s top Marcellus drillers, the average worker made $113,610 last year! That’s an average taken from workers at CNX Resources, Range Resources, Chesapeake Energy, Southwestern Energy, EQT and Cabot Oil & Gas. We hasten to add not “all workers” but “average” or “median” workers–meaning there are people who make below that number and people who make well above that number. It also means the majority of Marcellus workers in those companies made at least $100,000 per year. Those working for oilfield services (OFS) companies like Halliburton, Baker Hughes and others didn’t fare quite as well, making an average of $52,000-$80,000 per year. Still, hey, it ain’t bad money! Here’s a look at the average wage for top Marcellus drillers and the OFS companies that serve them…
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Halliburton Hires New CFO After Old CFO Left to Run Weatherford

In March, Mark McCollum, who had been Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Halliburton, the world’s second largest oilfield services company, left to become the CEO of Weatherford, the world’s fourth largest oilfield services company (see Halliburton CFO Leaves to Become Weatherford CEO). Not long after McCollum took the helm of Weatherford, the world’s largest oilfield services company, Schlumberger, gave Weatherford a helping hand (see Schlumberger Throws Weatherford a Lifeline, Challenges Halliburton). The chain reaction (and drama) continues to unfold. Halliburton announced yesterday they’ve lured away the CFO from smaller competitor Parker Drilling Company. And now Parker is looking for a new CFO…
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Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar Out, President Jeff Miller Promoted

Dave Lesar – Retiring CEO of Halliburton

There’s a shakeup at the top of the world’s second largest oilfield services company, Halliburton. Dave Lesar has been Halliburton’s chairman and CEO since 2000 when he replaced Dick Cheney (when Cheney was nominated to become Vice President of the United States). Lesar is retiring effective next week and being replaced by the company’s current president, Jeff Miller. The financial media is calling this “an expected move” because Lesar will reach mandatory retirement age next year. Some analysts, however, are not as kind–saying that Lesar’s botched attempt to buy Baker Hughes last year (with a resulting $3.5 billion breakup fee paid by Halliburton), and the company’s poor balance sheet over the past few years, are reasons enough to make the transition now. Halliburton, one of the largest fracking companies in the world, has major operations in the Marcellus/Utica region–hence our interest in changes at the top…
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Schlumberger Throws Weatherford a Lifeline, Challenges Halliburton

Schlumberger is the world’s largest oilfield services (OFS) company. Weatherford International is the world’s fourth largest OFS company. They both have operations in the Marcellus/Utica region. We’ve posted a number of stories about Weatherford’s financial troubles–and seemingly inevitable march toward bankruptcy (see our stories here). However, Weatherford may have just gotten a reprieve from its much larger competitor. On Friday, Schlumberger and Weatherford announced they have formed a joint venture called OneStim, “to deliver completions products and services for the development of unconventional resource plays in the United States and Canada land markets. The joint venture will offer one of the broadest multistage completions portfolios in the market combined with one of the largest hydraulic fracturing fleets in the industry.” Hmmm. Interesting. Here’s why. The world’s second largest OFS company is Halliburton. However, Halliburton is the world’s largest fracking company. The media is universally claiming the Schlumberg/Weatherford jv is squarely aimed at overtaking Halliburton to become the world’s largest fracking service. Can they do it? Another interesting observation: Earlier this month Mark McCollum, who had been Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Halliburton left to become the CEO of Weatherford (see Halliburton CFO Leaves to Become Weatherford CEO). We don’t think it’s a coincidence that Weatherford is now making a play to best its larger rival Halliburton, leveraging McCollum’s knowledge of how Halliburton became king of fracking. Two thoughts on the Sclumberger/Weatherford hook-up: (1) it keeps Weatherford out of bankruptcy by infusing $535 million of cash, (2) We think it may be the prelude to a full-out sale of Weatherford to Schlumberger down the road…
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Halliburton Rehires 2K, Says “Animal Spirits are Back” in US Land

In a “hasty” and “rare” operations call last Friday, Halliburton, the world’s second largest oilfield services (OFS) company, offered up some interesting comments. The call was apparently an attempt to blunt the coming news that the company will likely miss analyst’s expectations for profit/loss and dividends, due to rising costs and weak demand in international markets. Top brass at Halliburton wisely know that “he who gets there with the bad news first, wins.” However, the call was wide-ranging and included some good news: After trimming 35,000 jobs over the past couple of years, Halli is adding back 2,000 jobs. That’s better than a sharp stick in the eye. CEO Dave Lesar also had this rather bizarre statement on the call, in his ebullience over the drilling comeback in North America: “This diverse and exciting market has created a surge of activity and supports my thesis that the animal spirits are back in U.S. land.” OoooKay. We’ll go with it. Animal spirits. Here’s the news coming from last week’s hasty Halliburton homily…
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Halliburton CFO Leaves to Become Weatherford CEO

Mark McCollum, who had been Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Halliburton, the world’s second largest oilfield services company, has left to become the CEO of Weatherford, the world’s fourth largest oilfield services company. Sounds like a good move for McCollum’s career. But is it? Since last November we’ve highlighted the financial problems at the company (see our Weatherford stories here). In February, Weatherford set about trying to raise $2.5 billion, to stay out of bankruptcy court (see Weatherford Tries to Dig Out of Debt – $2.5B Securities Offering). It makes perfect sense to hire an accountant to run the company and try to extract it from its financial woes. It’s a high stakes game for McCollum. If he’s successful in turning around the Weatherford ship, McCollum can write his ticket. If he doesn’t turn it around–well, perhaps he still has some Halliburton stock options stuffed away in a safety deposit box…
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Halliburton 4Q & 2016 Update – Net Loss of $153M in 2016

Last week Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield services (OFS) company, reported their numbers for fourth quarter and full year 2016. As we highlighted, the company experienced a net loss last year (see Schlumberger 4Q16 & Full Year 2016 Results – Swings to Net Loss). Yesterday Halliburton, the world’s second largest OFS company, reported their numbers for last year. Like Schlumberger, Halliburton also had a net loss–of $153 million. And like Schlumberger, Halliburton said in 2017 prices for drillers are going up. Halliburton is a global company. Various regions were profitable or unprofitable. North America was unprofitable in 2016. Let’s dig into the details…
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Halliburton 3Q16 Earnings Surprise: Turns a Profit!

happy-daysHalliburton kicked off the third quarter earnings season yesterday with some stunning news: the company actually turned a profit during 3Q16! It wasn’t much of a profit–just $7 million. But that comes after losing $3.2 billion during 2Q16. Engineering a turnaround like that is nothing short of miraculous. North America represents 40% of Halliburton’s revenue–the company made $1.7 billion in 3Q16, a 9% increase over 2Q16. The rest of the world (international) represents 60% of Halliburton’s revenue, which was $2.2 billion in 3Q16 (up 6% over 2Q16). The company predicted 4Q16 revenues will be flat. But hey, after billion dollar loses, who cares? CEO Dave Lesar once again reiterated his view that “things are getting better” for the oil and gas industry. A $3.2 billion turnaround in one quarter is a whole lotta proof to back up his assertion. However, company officials also said Halliburton remains in a pricing “barroom brawl” with competitors, and the oil market in particular remains “very challenging.” Here’s the Halli update…
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Halliburton 2Q16: $3.2B Loss, Lays Off Another 5K, Thx to Obama DOJ

Halliburton logoThe second-largest oilfield services company in the world, Halliburton (once run by the evil puppet-master himself, Dick Cheney) issued their second quarter 2016 financial and operating update yesterday. The company reports losing $3.2 billion during 2Q16, largely because the Obama Dept. of Justice nixed a buyout of Baker Hughes by Halliburton, which triggered a $3.5 billion payment from Halliburton to BH (see Obama DOJ Kills Halliburton/Baker Hughes Merger, Deal “Terminated” and The Road Ahead for Baker Hughes – Post Halliburton Deal). Halliburton also reports revenue fell 15% and they laid off another 5,000 workers during the quarter. Here’s the update…
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Irony: DOJ Scuttled Halliburton/BH Merger, then Collects $11M Fine

ValueActThe news is now months old that Halliburton and Baker Hughes ended their attempt to merge. The reason they called it off was because of opposition from the Obama Department of Justice (see Obama DOJ Kills Halliburton/Baker Hughes Merger, Deal “Terminated”). The companies didn’t have the stomach to go up against the bullies at DOJ. So it was the DOJ that actually killed the deal. During the process of DOJ’s review, an “activist investor” (i.e. corporate raider) by the name of ValueAct Capital snapped up $2.6 billion worth of Halliburton and Baker Hughes stock with, according to the DOJ, the intent to influence the companies’ business decisions as the merger unfolded.” The DOJ charged ValueAct “with violating the reporting and waiting period requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act” (see DOJ Sues ValueAct Capital for Meddling in Halliburton/BH Merger). ValueAct has settled by paying $11 million in shakedown money to the DOJ to make it all go away. Which we find ironic. The DOJ killed the deal, and yet the DOJ is extracting money for the deal they killed…
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Moodys Downgrades Halliburton/Baker Hughes Debt Post-Failed-Merger

Moodys Ratings ScaleEver hear the phrase, “Better to try and fail than never to try at all.” That’s actually the name of a poem from William O’Brien (dead poet, read his famous poem here). Contrary to the wisdom of O’Brien’s poem, in some cases it may be better to never have tried in the first place. At least that’s what Halliburton and Baker Hughes may be thinking about their failed attempt to merge (see Obama DOJ Kills Halliburton/Baker Hughes Merger, Deal “Terminated”). Halliburton ended up having to pay Baker Hughes a $3.5 billion break-up fee (see The Road Ahead for Baker Hughes – Post Halliburton Deal). Ouch. But that’s not all. Last week Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the debt for both Halliburton and Baker Hughes–from A2 to Baa1. Why? In part because of the failed merger deal. That’s what Moody’s says. What does the credit downgrade mean? It means their outstanding debt is harder to buy and sell, affecting $12.8 billion of debt for Halliburton and $3.9 billion of debt for Baker Hughes. It also means should either company want to borrow more money, the cost will be higher to do so…
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Halliburton Fracked Eclipse’s 3.5 Mile ‘Purple Hayes’ Utica Well

failure is an orphanThere’s an old saying that goes like this: “Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan.” Not long ago MDN reported that Eclipse Resources had drilled what is believed to be the longest horizontal well (on land) in the world–the 3.5 mile “Purple Hayes” Utica Shale well (see Eclipse Res. 1Q16: Drills Longest Shale Well Ever! “Purple Hayes”). It wasn’t but a day or two and one of the companies that worked on the well to help drill it, Nine Energy, popped up to say they had a hand in that recording-breaking well (see Nine Energy Completed World’s Longest Shale Well – in the Utica). Last week MDN told you that “snubbing” company Deep Well Services, from Pennsylvania, also helped with drilling the well (see PA Firm Helped Drill ‘Purple Hayes’ – World’s Longest Shale Well). Drilling any well is truly a team effort with many companies involved. Yesterday yet another company stepped up to claim they played a major role in drilling the Purple Hayes–Halliburton…
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Halliburton Dominates Marcellus Refracks; Utica Shifting to Sand

Halliburton logoEvery now and again it’s fun to delve into some of the technical aspects of drilling a Marcellus (and Utica) Shale well. We pick up on some of those particulars from a survey conducted by Hart Energy. Hart surveyed Marcellus and Utica drillers and found that, unsurprisingly, what has worked continues to work: When a Marcellus driller drills and fracks a well, the driller uses slickwater and up to 11 million pounds of white sand. What IS surprising to learn is that Utica drillers who had favored ceramic beads instead of sand are moving away from using ceramic beads and toward the Marcellus tried-and-true slickwater with sand approach. Here’s a few more interesting tidbits, including the fact that Halliburton is king of refracks in the Marcellus…
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Halliburton CEO Talks About Failed BH Merger, Industry Turnaround

David Lesar
David Lesar

Halliburton, the second largest oilfield services company in the world, released its first quarter 2016 update yesterday. Along with it, Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar held court with stock analysts on a ubiquitous quarterly earnings call. Among Lesar’s comments is that he thinks the oil and gas industry is right now beginning to turn more positive. Lesar believes that drilling will begin to pick up again later this year. He also had a number of comments, and questions, about the failed takeover/merger attempt with Baker Hughes (see Obama DOJ Kills Halliburton/Baker Hughes Merger, Deal “Terminated”). We found Lesar’s prepared remarks interesting and thought you would too…
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The Road Ahead for Baker Hughes – Post Halliburton Deal

Baker Hughes logoYesterday MDN brought you the news that the Halliburton buyout of Baker Hughes is now officially dead (see Obama DOJ Kills Halliburton/Baker Hughes Merger, Deal “Terminated”). So what’s ahead for Baker Hughes? First up is that they will get a $3.5 billion (with a “b”) payment from Halliburton tomorrow. At least, they’re supposed to. Baker Hughes says they will use $1.5 billion of the money to buy back company stock, and the other $1 billion to pay off certain debts. The company will also “rationalize” (i.e. downsize/cut) certain segments of its business–like the onshore pressure pumping business. You have to wade through lots of euphemisms and management gobbledygook speak, but here’s the Baker Hughes “path to the future” statement they issued yesterday…
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Obama DOJ Kills Halliburton/Baker Hughes Merger, Deal “Terminated”

It's Dead JimIt’s a sad day for Halliburton and Baker Hughes. The two companies intended to get married, with Halliburton buying out BH and merging it in a deal worth $35 billion (see Shotgun Wedding: Halliburton Forces Baker Hughes to Sell). That was in November 2014. Since then, the two companies have jumped through every hoop demanded of them, including shedding assets (see Halliburton/Baker Hughes Hold a Pre-Merger Garage Sale). By the end of last year, rumors were circulating that the deal is in trouble (see Whispers Turning in Chorus, Halliburton/BH Deal in Trouble). Then European regulators began throwing cold water on the deal (see Europe Puts Halliburton/BH Merger Under a Microscope). No problem–HalliHughes thought they could still pull it off. But then the bullies of the Obama Justice Department got involved and sued to block the deal (see Obama DOJ Sues to Block Halliburton/Baker Hughes Merger). We can’t remember a time when the DOJ opposed a big deal it ended up happening. And so it is with this one. The bullies have won. In a rare Sunday press release, Baker Hughes says the deal is now off–and Halliburton owes Baker Hughes $3.5 billion in a breakup fee–due by this Wednesday. Happy May Day, Halli!…
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