Halliburton’s race to the shale includes Frac of the Future

Providing oilfield services for hydraulic fracturing operations has become increasingly competitive, with companies trying to differentiate themselves by the services they provide in shale plays.

For Halliburton, the competition has led to a  new strategy it calls Frac of the Future, which uses a range of technology improvements and management methods to bring down costs for well owners, an industry report said Monday.

EnergyPoint Research praised the strategy, saying it reduces maintenance costs, downtime, horsepower, physical and environmental footprint and onsite headcount required for the jobs.

“Our initial interviews with oil field customers suggest high levels of interest and enthusiasm for the concept,” EnergyPoint Research wrote in an analyst’s note. “While competitors have introduced new twists of their own in the space, none are as joined in their approach or design.”

For example, Halliburton has introduced more powerful pumps and special liquids-storage units that make work at the well site run much more efficiently.

Halliburton’s strategy is part of its broader effort to recast itself as an energy-services company  and to bolster its reputation, affected  last decade by asbestos litigation and the military contracts of its former subsidiary, KBR, EnergyPoint Research said. Problems with guar gum prices and equipment performance also have  eroded customer ratings in the last couple of years, but the new strategy could turn this trend around, the analysts said.

“If successful, the Frac of the Future effort has the potential to bring about a paradigm shift in terms of what customers both expect and receive from their pressure pumping suppliers,” Energy Point Research said.