About 2.2 million horsepower, or roughly 10% of industry capacity, already has been earmarked for the sc-ap heap, according to Scott Gruber, an analyst at Citigroup Inc.
In addition to Patterson and RPC, Gruber said industry titans Schlumberger Ltd. and Halliburton Co. probably are retiring parts of their fleets, and at least another 1 million horsepower needs to be eliminated to halt the slide in fracking fees.
A spokeswoman for Halliburton declined to comment. A spokesman for Schlumberger referred to comments by CEO Olivier Le Peuch on a third-quarter earnings call, where the executive said it was too early to give specifics about activity levels.
“Much needed attrition is (finally) materializing,” analysts at Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. wrote in a note to clients. “We wouldn’t be surprised to hear other pumpers jump aboard the fleet retirement train in the coming weeks.”