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Long before the oil business became the oil business, Scottish preacher James Durham said, "Many professed Christians are like to foolish builders, who build by guess, and by rule of thumb (as we use to speak), and not by Square and Rule". Not exactly a robust endorsement of rules of thumb, but that doesn’t stop us from carrying various rules in our hip pocket as we march through the oilfield in 2018.

We agree with the Preacher; don’t ever base a business plan or an acquisition on a rule of thumb, but sometimes it is handy to have a way to quickly check the size of things. With that in mind, we’ll share some of our handiest measurements:

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- Amount of sand pumped per year by Halliburton’s most effective frac crew?  0.5 million tons

- Frac stages pumped in US in 2014? 750,000

- Frac stages pumped in US in 2017? 740,000

- Wells per horizontal drilling rig per year in 2018? 22

- Directional revenue per horizontal drilling rig per year? $3.5 million

- Cost of a flowback spread per day? $4,000

- Frac stages per day for the average frac crew? 4

- Number of perforating guns run in 2017? 5 million

- Percent of all frac water pumped that comes from recycling? 50%

- MWD cost per day Permian Basin? $5,500

- Cementing dollars per new well in North America? $180,000

- Cost of a coiled tubing unit per day? $50,000

- Cost of a well servicing rig per day in the Permian (daylights)? $3,000

- Number of people working on a 24-hour per day frac spread? 40-50

- HHP per frac truck? 2,500.

- Horizontal wells per pad? 3 (but it could be as high as 25)

These rules certainly don’t hold true for every situation or application, but they are good stakes in the ground for assessing arguments and opportunities. Keep this list in your back pocket as a quick reference when you meet new deals that sound too good to be true (or not good enough).