DENVER (Reuters) - Liberty Oilfield Services (LBRT.N) on Wednesday said a seasonal slowdown in hydraulic fracturing has started early this year, indicating more pain for oilfield services providers facing cuts in customer spending.
Reduced spending in the second half of the year by oil and gas producers has led to weaker profits and staff cuts at firms that provide oilfield services and equipment.
The firm has no plans to add more equipment to its fleets, Chief Executive Chris Wright told investors on an earnings call on Wednesday, adding that pricing pressures would remain until a capacity glut ends.
Denver, Colorado-based Liberty Oilfield Services operates 23 hydraulic fracturing fleets, which are used to pump water, sand and chemicals into the ground to complete shale oil wells.
The company had expected to bring a 24th fleet to the market, but sidelined that plan earlier this year.
“Many of our competitors have idled significant capacity and announced permanent disposal of older frac equipment. Both of these changes are necessary for the frac market to balance,” Wright said.
He added he anticipated meaningfully higher activity early next quarter, and that it was unlikely Liberty would stack, or put aside, any of its fleets next year.
Shares of Liberty were down 3.6% in midday trade at $9.02.
On Tuesday, the company reported earnings fell to $11 million, or 15 cents a share, from $34.1 million, or 50 cents a share, a year ago. Revenues were $515 million for the quarter, down from $559 million a year ago.
Reporting by Liz Hampton; Editing by Susan Fenton and Tom Brown