CORNER LIBERTY OILFIELD SERVICES: Oilfield Technology with a PURPOSE
ompanies often pursue a spot on the cutting edge of technology as they seek competitive advantages, but it can be
difficult to wear the mantle of a technology leader. Staying out in front requires constant investment in innovation. That often means being willing to commit scarce resources to new ideas. This can be a difficult proposition in an industry that is already highly capital intensive such as oil and gas, and doubly so when companies are fighting to stay above water as they were during the oil price downturn in 2015 and 2016. In fact, in the oilfield service sector, many companies cannibalized equipment for parts as both demand and day rates cratered with the decline in E&P activity. Service providers were forced to think about protecting cashflows and many were unable
BUILDING A GENERATIONAL COMPANY “Not every company is willing to make additional upfront investments into their equipment, even if it will pay off several times over in four or five years,” said Liberty’s Director of Assets Roy Aune who manages 850,000 horsepower of equipment for Liberty. “Our strategy has always been to build a generational company.” Liberty’s approach to building a company for the long-haul has birthed several service sector firsts—innovations that paid off. Included in the list is the Liberty Quiet Fleet which reduces noise levels by more than three-times compared to a conventional frac fleet, making pads safer to work on, improving communication, and reducing noise pollution, which is especially important, when working in populated areas.
to push the
And as Liberty’s Quiet
envelope in terms of
Fleet continues to
gain traction in the
industry, the company
This trend did not engulf the entire industry, however. Denver-based Liberty Oilfield Services, which began trading on the NYSE under the ticker LBRT in January 2018, chose to continue investing in new opportunities to improve services at the wellsite, even during the downturn. Liberty regularly makes investments in its equipment to ensure it is the highest quality, and it has found great benefit in exploring new technologies and programs to help improve its own performance as well as the performance of its industry partners.
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is pursuing further improvements such as advanced pump monitoring equipment and a host of other monitoring devices on its fleets to better understand equipment performance. The idea is to help Liberty understand what’s going on inside its pumps by trending hundreds of parameters and looking for causal relationships when a failure occurs, explained Aune. Aune believes that augmenting visual inspections and replacing them with instrumentation and algorithms that can detect and report pending failures is an investment that saves money and improves morale. He explained that the periodic inspections prevent damage to fluid ends