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The shale gas correction may provide bargain prices for drilling service providers [ClearOnMoney]
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The shale gas correction may provide bargain prices for drilling service providers

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Commentary

The shale gas correction may provide bargain prices for drilling service providers

15 Oct 2012 by Jim Fickett.

From Bloomberg:

The U.S. shale boom is turning into a bust for companies that provide drilling services as the number of rigs seeking natural gas has fallen faster than any time in the last 24 years.

The overall U.S. onshore rig count has dropped 9 percent this year, seeing the most sustained declines since the recession-led plunge in 2009. …

Four of the biggest service companies, including Halliburton Co. (HAL) and Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB), will see their collective third-quarter operating profit drop by more than $1 billion in North America compared to a year earlier, according to estimates from Houston-based Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. Prices charged for fracking services are expected to drop 14 percent this year and another 8 percent next year, according to PacWest Consulting Partners LLC, a Houston-based industry adviser. …

The number of working gas rigs has fallen 48 percent this year to 422, the fastest decline rate since Baker Hughes Inc. began tracking the count in 1988.

Perhaps we'll see some interesting opportunities in the next few quarters.