August 1, 2017 / 2:34 PM / 2 years ago

Keane Group sees more hydraulic fracturing fleets deployed in second quarter

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Oilfield services firm Keane Group (FRAC.N) deployed more hydraulic fracturing fleets in the second quarter, and said it expects robust activity in well completions in the second half of the year as market conditions have improved and companies seek to finish a backlog of wells already drilled.

Keane averaged slightly more than 18 deployed hydraulic fracturing fleets in the second quarter, up from an average of roughly 15 in the first quarter, the company said on Tuesday during its second quarter earnings call.

The company expects to have 25 hydraulic fracturing fleets in service in August and a 26th new-build fleet, ordered by RockPile Energy, during the fourth quarter.

Keane Group completed its acquisition of Denver-based fracking company RockPile Energy Services in July, adding six fleets to its portfolio.

Keane Group reported revenue of $323.1 million in the second quarter, beating expectations for $317.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. It reported a loss per share of 11 cents, versus expectations of a 9 cents loss per share.

Shares of the Houston, Texas-based company were down about 2 percent at 9:50 am ET (1350 GMT) at $15.03.

Demand for hydraulic fracturing services is exceeding supply, the company said, as the number of drilling rigs in operation has almost doubled in the past year. Increased intensity required for current fracking jobs has also accelerated the frequency of required maintenance, the company said.

The number of wells waiting to be fractured, otherwise referred to as drilled-but-uncompleted wells (DUCs) rose by 154 from May to June to 6,031, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, as companies continue to drill wells faster than they can complete them. In the Permian Basin, where production activity has rebounded after oil prices CLc1 climbed above $50 a barrel earlier this year, the number of DUCs rose by 130, to 2,244 over that time.

Keane said about 50 percent of its fleet is deployed in the Permian Basin of West Texas, while 30 percent of its fleet is in the Marcellus and Utica region of the northeast United States. Another 15 percent is in the Bakken shale and the remaining 5 percent is in the SCOOP and STACK play.

Reporting by Liz Hampton; Editing by Frances Kerry

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