Liberty Oilfield adding fleets, sees North American oil output rising

Liberty Oilfield Services (LBRT.N) said on Tuesday it will increase the number of hydraulic fracturing fleets it runs in early 2023 to the low forties, from the mid-thirties currently, as oil activity rebounds on high prices.

The current “frac” market is around 250 fleets and will likely exit the year at 275 fleets, the U.S.-based company said during an earnings call. Liberty said it plans to reactivate equipment this year and add two electric fleets in early 2023 as pricing has recovered.

The company said oil producers are now “evaluating the opportunity to deploy incremental capital in North America to modestly grow production,” which could mark a potential shift in a strategy that focused on limited production growth in favor of shareholder returns.

Liberty said it anticipates U.S. oil output to grow by slightly less than 1 million barrels per day by the end of 2022, and maintain a similar growth rate for 2023.

Shares of Liberty were up 11.2% to $14.29 in mid-morning trading.