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Patterson-UTI Buying Gulf Coast Pressure Pumping Horsepower

A unit of Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. is growing its Gulf Coast region operations by acquiring pressure pumping assets that will support activities in the Eagle Ford and Haynesville shales.

The deal with an undisclosed private party gives Patterson-UTI two additional bases of operations as well as new employees. Terms were not disclosed. The acquisition includes 143,250 hp of hydraulic fracturing equipment, which was manufactured in 2011 and 2012.

"This equipment has not been heavily operated since it was introduced to the market at a time of reduced demand for pressure pumping services," said Patterson-UTI CEO Andy Hendricks. "We believe the assets to be well-maintained, in very good condition and in line with our high standards. Upon completion of this transaction and after delivery of the previously announced new equipment currently on order [see Shale Daily, July 28], we will have more than one million horsepower of fracturing capacity."

According to Railroad Commission of Texas data, nearly 50% of the rigs currently drilling horizontal wells in the United States are located in Texas, Patterson-UTI noted (see Shale Daily, July 30).

The deal did not surprise Wunderlich Securities analyst Jason Wangler. "We have been seeing more deals come through of late as [oilfield services] companies position themselves for what looks like an improving market, and given the amount of equipment out in private hands, we feel there could be more," he said in a note Friday.

The acquired assets will supplement Patterson-UTI's existing Texas-based pressure pumping operations in the Permian Basin, the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas, the Barnett Shale of North Texas and the Haynesville Shale of East Texas and Louisiana. Patterson-UTI also has a widespread pressure pumping presence in the Marcellus and Utica shales.

"Look for the company to remain acquisitive and build organically given a strong expected market during the up cycle," Wangler wrote. "...[T]hough no price was given, we expect [the acquisition] to be accretive in 2015."

The transaction is expected to close within 90 days, subject to conditions, third-party consents and antitrust clearance.

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