The Covid-19 downturn has caused a shocking decline in new fracking operations in the US, with monthly numbers plunging to a bottom of just 325 wells in June. A Rystad Energy analysis shows that new operations are now set to rise to above 400 wells in July, and recovery will be especially evident in the Permian Basin, where activity has nearly tripled.

Rystad Energy’s well count comes from both our own satellite data analysis and from our tabulation of FracFocus numbers. Our satellite data shows 246 newly started frac jobs this month, with 96 frac jobs beginning just last week.

“While there is only one week left in July, the availability of data varies across the tens of thousands of locations covered, with a possible reporting lag temporarily concealing additional fracking activity. We therefore estimate that the final July frac count might surpass 400 wells, and will return to levels last seen in April 2020,” says Rystad Energy’s head of shale research, Artem Abramov.

The magnitude of the activity recovery in the Permian, in comparison to other oil basins, has become much more evident. As of 22 July, we have identified 125 started frac jobs in the Permian for July. This activity is 15% to 23% higher than the well count for the full months of May and June 2020. On average, the Permian Basin has higher satellite revisit rates than other oil basins. This means that while other oil basins might also see recovering activity, the estimates around these recoveries are more uncertain. (From RYSTAD ENERGY)

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