Basic Energy Services Inc.'s U.S. onshore rig utilization rate rose slightly from December to January, a small sign of recovery for the battered oilfield services industry, but stacked horsepower continues to climb.
Well servicing rig hours in January totaled 37,200, producing a utilization rate of 38%, versus 36% in December (see Shale Daily, Jan. 12). The small gain was well below the rate in January 2015, when utilization was 56%.
The Fort Worth, TX-based contract operator provides well services at about 100 points in every major domestic oil and gas basin.
"January activity was somewhat improved over December, as the holiday period ended and weather conditions improved from the last week in 2015," CEO Roe Patterson said Friday. "Well servicing activity increased approximately 200 basis points and trucking hours increased by 2%.
However, completion and remedial utilization last month "declined on lower drilling and completion activities as our customers' drilling plans for 2016 continue to be reduced."
The fluid service truck count last month increased by one to 986, while truck hours climbed to 180,600 from 177,000 in December and 208,100 in January 2015.
Drilling rig days for last month totaled 31, producing a rig utilization of 8%, compared to 12% in December and versus 74% in January 2015.
"We continue to right-size our operating infrastructure to fit the current operating environment," Patterson said. At the end of January, "we had stacked 119,000 hydraulic horsepower (HHP) because of lower completion demand, including 58,000 HHP that was stacked during the month."
"During January, we also stacked one well servicing rig to bring our total stacked rig inventory to 110 at the end of the month."
Revenue and activity guidance are planned to be presented during the fourth quarter results conference call next Friday (Feb. 19).