Liberty provides first update as public frack company

By Luke Geiver | March 19, 2018

In its first earnings call as a public company, Liberty Oilfield Services’ executive team explained its recent accomplishments, expectations for full-year 2018 and the general state of the frack market.

“The frack market remains very strong,” said Chris Wright, CEO of Liberty. The demand for such services will continue to outstrip supply this year. Human constraints related to workforce will regulate the pace of industry expansion, he said. In 2017, Liberty hired more than 1,000 employees across multiple locations. To meet industry demand for pressure pumping services, Liberty has placed an order for two new fleets that could be ready in the third or fourth quarter this year. By the end of the year, Liberty should have 24 frack fleets in operation spread between the Williston Basin, Permian Basin, Eagle Ford and the DJ Basin. In Q4 2017, Liberty’s frack fleets generated roughly $18 million per fleet, but by the end of this year, each fleet could generate roughly $22 million per fleet.

In addition to pressure pumping demands, Wright noted that areas of the oilfield also in great demand include water supply services, wellhead maintenance and flowback manifold services. In Texas, operators are shifting away from their focus on land acquisitions and acreage to development mode of multi-well pads. Liberty is well positioned to help existing, or new, clients, according to Wright.

“The culture of our company is to figure out how to get more done in a day,” he said.

In its first year as a publicly traded company, Liberty should generate free cash flow above its capex projections. For the near-term future, Liberty will focus on serving its existing clients in the basins its currently active in. However, in the future Liberty believes it could enter other basins based on demand and discussions with existing clients.

In the last three years, Liberty has invested in new technology to bolster its frack fleet set-up, including the boxed proppant solution PropX, a quiet fleet for urban areas, the Vorteq missile pump system to reduce wear on systems and fracture data sets used to determine appropriate treatments on a well-by-well basis.