Oilfield services operator NexTier Oilfield Solutions Inc. is collaborating on field tests of National Oilwell Varco Inc.’s (NOV) electric fracturing, aka e-fracking, system to reduce emissions and equipment at well sites.


The Houston-based operators plan to test NOV’s Ideal eFrac fleet, which was introduced in the third quarter. NextTier, a completions provider, works in the Lower 48. 

Under the terms of the agreement, NexTier and NOV would test the operational capability of the prototype in the field and under normal operating conditions. The agreement provides NexTier the option to transform from the test phase to the future purchase of the first Ideal eFrac fleet manufactured by NOV.

“NexTier is excited to partner with a company the caliber of NOV as we explore potential additional wellsite emissions reducing technologies to complement our market leading dual-fuel gas powered fleet,” said NextTier CEO Robert Drummond. “This partnership to test NOV’s advanced eFrac technology progresses our journey of identifying the best solutions for NexTier and its customers, and evidences our commitment to further reducing our carbon footprint.”

Many exploration and production customers want to reduce their gas flaring and carbon footprints, and e-fracking drilling systems are used to replace diesel and gas power. 

“NexTier is helping make completions technologies cleaner, quieter and more efficient, which are solutions that oil and gas producers increasingly prefer,” NOV CEO Clay Williams said. “Utilizing abundant natural gas to generate electricity, and applying NOV’s technology to drive clean, quiet operations, further strengthens NexTier’s position as an industry leader.”

During the 3Q2020 call in October to discuss results, Williams said, “Generating power on site to run electric motors that in turn drive pumps instead of conventional direct drive diesel engines and transmissions can reduce mechanical complexity and maintenance costs.

“We’ve already seen this work in the drilling space, driving the evolution” of building rigs that use alternating current.