Liberty Oilfield Service
Issue Spring 14
Liberty Oilfield Service specializes in frac designs that are not always the easiest for the company, but provide the best production results for its customers.
The Denver- based company was founded in 2011 by several experienced frac workers who became pioneers in the development of fracking and completion technology in shale gas plays. The founders of the company helped launch the revolution in unconventional shale development through horizontal drilling, utilization of stage diversion techniques and high-intensity hydraulic fracturing.
Liberty is focused on being the service provider of choice in high frac-intensity basins, such as the Williston Basin in North Dakota and DJ Basin near Denver. The company provides hydraulic fracturing, engineering services and equipment rentals. “We want to be the best service provider in the industry,” declares Leen Weijers, vice president of technology and sales. “In just two years we have grown into a pumping services provider with about 300 employees.”
Focused on Results
Liberty prides itself on technological advancements not many other frac service providers are offering, Weijers says. Many companies will choose sand or gel designs to frac because it is easier to use and not as tough on equipment. Liberty opts to use ceramic and slickwater fluid systems as its signature frac design in the Bakken formation in the Williston Basin, which are hard on its equipment and require more testing, but give customers better production results.
“We recommend pumping jobs that aren’t necessarily easy for us,” Weijers says. “We think more like an operator than a service provider. We have performed a lot of frac jobs that aren’t easy, but provide the best production results. We are pretty unique in that sense.”
The company has learned how to accommodate for the more complex designs and execute those on a daily basis. Its approach is not an industry secret, but it is rarely followed by competitors because of the complexity, Weijers says. “We are long-term frac guys that understand the industry and can help customers in boosting their production,” he adds.
Just two years ago when the company was founded, there were not enough trucks and equipment to go around. Today, equipment is no longer scarce and competition is on the rise, which Weijers explains comes in cycles. “Now we are at the other side where there is too much equipment and a lot of consolidation is happening between pumping companies,” he explains.
“Prices have come down in comparison to 2011, but we are still busy and one of the only companies that is adding equipment.”
Liberty is adding one additional fleet in the Williston Basin that will be operational in the spring, as well as another in the DJ Basin that will be running by summer 2014.
The pumping industry’s average total recordable incident (TRI) rate is 3.7 incidents for every 200,000 hours worked. Liberty’s current TRI is zero and Weijers credits that to the company’s culture. “Our safety record is second to none because we treat our personnel in a more humane way and they love to work here,” he adds.
Most fracking service companies work employees for three weeks and provide one week off. Liberty schedules its employees to work for two weeks and have two weeks to spend at home with their families. “We decided to change the norm of three weeks on and one off,” Weijers says. “Typically, on that schedule, you might have only four days at home because employees have to travel on their own time. As a result of the two-and-two schedule, we have people who are very happy to come to work, aren’t burnt out and can work efficiently and safely.”
Liberty’s employees are put through rigorous training focused on fracturing services and safety. As a new company, Weijers says Liberty is always looking for additional training programs to implement as well as for knowledgeable staff. “We only want to hire the best people with the best attitudes that can keep us close to that goal of being the best service company in the basins where we operate.”