In the gyrating oilfield service sector, contract compression behaves like the responsible adult in a room full of irrational teenagers. Consider the chart below. This shows the contract compression market (which is mostly associated with US land operations):
Contract Compression Market
First, look at 2014 to 2016. While the rest of the oilfield fell off a cliff, contract compression fell a very gentle 9%.
Next, in 2017 the rest of the US market rocketed upward while compression was flat with the prior year.
Then, in 2018 the compression market began to grow, and this growth pace will continue – or accelerate – going into 2019.
Unlike most oilfield segments, contract compression will set a record this year. And next. And the next. US gas producers are flowing record amounts of natural gas today despite drilling oil wells; gas is an associated byproduct. This low pressure gas must be compressed to 1000 psi to enter a transmission line or compressed to 6000 psi if pumped back in to pressurize the reservoir. In either case, massive amounts of compression must be installed from the wellhead to the gathering system.
These are good years for every company up and down the compression supply chain – CSI Compressco, Archrock, CAT, Ariel…
It’s time to fall in love with compression.