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Half of U.S. Fracking Companies Will Be Dead or Sold This Year

Transport trucks are parked at a Heckmann Water Resources (HWR) treatment plant that separates oil, sediment and water mixed during the hydraulic fracturing process, near Shreveport, Louisiana.
Photographer: Jason Janik/Bloomberg

Half of the 41 fracking companies operating in the U.S. will be dead or sold by year-end because of slashed spending by oil companies, an executive with Weatherford International Plc said.

There could be about 20 companies left that provide hydraulic fracturing services, Rob Fulks, pressure pumping marketing director at Weatherford, said in an interview Wednesday at the IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston. Demand for fracking, a production method that along with horizontal drilling spurred a boom in U.S. oil and natural gas output, has declined as customers leave wells uncompleted because of low prices.