Pioneer Energy Services Corp. (NYSE:PES) Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2012 Global Energy Conference Transcript November 13, 2012 3:35 PM ET
Stacy Locke - Chief Executive Officer
… by Pioneer, what we've seen over the last couple of years there's a lot of [land drillers] have diversified into pressure pumping. Pioneer is taking a little bit different routes in well servicing, some wire-lines and coil tubing. Presenting today is Stacy Locke, CEO. I consider him one of the [Straight shooters] in the oil business and with that turning to Stacy.
Good afternoon, everyone. Just a quick overview, we're based out of San Antonio, 3700 employees, and we call that the headquarters at the Eagle Ford shale, these days. Very low market cap, good time to look at these stocks that are fairly beaten down. We're one of the few small caps in the space. Before I get into the what - an overview of the company, I just want to make a couple of industry comments or some of the trends that we are seeing, as you can see from the screen we're in drilling but we're also in the production service space, in well servicing wire-line, mostly case hold and in coil-tubing so we do a pretty full spectrum of drilling the well and all the steps to put the well on production.
And in those four core business areas, three of them have been a little bit soft. Drilling, softened in - started in the second quarter, wireline to quick to follow there. As we guided going into the third quarter we thought the declines were fairly modest and price and the utilization we felt like the pricing declines were on order of 5% to 10% as we proceeded through the third quarter, we could see that the pricing declines were a little greater more towards the 10% level.
End utilization still holding in pretty good but off a little bit. As we gave our third quarter conference call, I feel like in terms of the pricing that we're probably there on pricing. I'm not seeing a lot of continued deterioration in pricing on any of the business lines at this point.
But in the case of land drilling since almost 80% of rigs are under term contracts, as those that renew in the fourth quarter, those that renew in the first and second quarter of next year. We'll gravitate towards that lower pricing until activities pick-up, of course this time of year we are entering, but mostly on the production service side, fewer hors shorter days holidays that all affect the production services business and then it takes a while in the new year to cycle back up with the new budget. So this is historically a little bit slower time of year in a little few hours due to day light.
But of course last quarter we had Isaac that impacted a number of our businesses namely, cased-hole wireline, coil tubing along the gulf coast, Texas Louisiana there so, but I would say the outlook is stable. It all hinges on oil prices, probably more than anything else, if oil stays firm and by firm I mean in the $85 plus range, we know gas in the shadows but it's creeping upward those dynamics are looking better longer term but the real key to the businesses here for us and most - everybody else's is oil.
And we're running over 90% of our revenues generated from oil on drilling and over 80% in production services. So that's the key if oil falls apart these businesses could suffer further but right now I think the oil is fairly stable, outlook is pretty good. I think what happened this year, is oil have been up in the $120 to $127 range and quickly came down to $78 I believe it was in the late summer.
And a lot of the operators were shocked by that, pulled back a little bit they had already spent more than the half-way point of their budgets and when they pulled back and paused a bit, everybody dropped a little bit of equipment drilling coil, wireline and anytime in any market they're stacked equipment pricing comes under pressure and that's exactly what happened. So the operators have enjoyed this lower price environment have stayed very busy but not quite at the same level they did in the first half of the year.
And we'll wait and see what happens in 2013 but if they ratchet up their budgets and get back to business then we expect some of this equipment to be picked up, probably more in the second third and improving into fourth quarter of next year, as long the price of oil holds in there, so that's kind of the backdrop.
Looking at our four core business lines, in Well Servicing [oil] 108 well service units, we've added 10 recently in the 112 and 116 foot mast variety which has been in demand particularly in Eagle Ford and the Bakken, but we'll end the year at 108 well servicing units.
We'll end the year in wireline at the 120, we're there now. We've had quite a bit of growth in both those businesses over the last two to three years, coil tubing also has been a steady grower, we added - we'll add a total of 3 units this year, we'll end at 13 units, 4 offshore and 8 onshore and then 68 drilling rigs, we have 4 more to deliver. And those will be delivered and one more will be delivered in December and then probably, one January, February and March. And that will complete our new-build drilling program.
So we'll be back up to 72 drilling rigs, we sold 9 at the end of last year and early part of this year, of our lowest horse power mechanical rigs and replace those 9 with 10 state-of-the-art new-builds.
When you look geographically where we're located, that's a lot of dots. That's all of our services, but if you start up at the top, next to Canada and the Bakken you'll see that we have drilling service there, wireline services, well services, right across the border, in Montana, we're the leading market share provider of wireline in Montana, you come down, we've got, in the Niobrara we've got wirelines, little further down Colorado, Kansas, we're also leading market share providers of Wireline services there.
Over in Utah, we have both drilling and wireline and then you come down into Permian, we have drilling predominantly but also wireline well services, of course, along the Eagle Ford, Texas, gulf coast, we have all of the service, into Louisiana, we have wireline, coil, and, (inaudible), wireline coil, onshore, offshore, for both and well services onshore. And then we have small operation there in the Marcellus, which is just drilling and then in the country of Columbia, where we have 8 drillings rigs as well and then scattered about other various offices, but pretty well located around the US, close to 50 total office locations.
When you think about Pioneer, as I mentioned earlier we drill, we're drilling mostly in the unconventional plays, all the SCR rigs for the most part of drilling in horizontal shale plays and some of the mechanical or drilling unconventionally I vertical oil mostly in the Permian. But we drill the original borehole with the drilling rigs. And then we come in with all these other services to help complete these wells, as a good example we take the Eagle Ford, we'll drill say 8000 foot lateral we come in with our coil tubing put one of our perforating guns out of our cased-hole wireline and then coil and do what they call the top-prep. Those are the first perforations at the end of the long-lateral.
Then your coil leaves, the pressure pumpers come in which we don't do. But we'll work in unison with the pressure pumpers to do, we'll do all the perforations, on say a 20-stage, 30-stage frac. They'll frac it, we'll set all the plugs between them. And once we completed with the fracing then our cased-hole wireline moves off, the pressure pumpers move off coils comes back in drills out all the plugs, coil leaves, well-servicing comes in and establishes the well on production.
So that's really our, strategic model, is to drill the boreholes and then to get the wells on production with all these key services except for pressure pumping. There is another aspect of the market that is little understood, and that's been - when you look at all the big drillers out there, they're all adding new equipment, like we are, they're all adding the same thing. AC, joystick controlled, mostly walking rigs, high-end state of the art rigs, nobody is adding any mechanical rigs.
When you look out across the wells drilled in the United States if you go back to 2011, 62% of the boreholes drilled in 2011 were verticals wells, 10,000 to 11,000 feet. None of these AC joystick rigs will be drilling or participating in that segment of the market yes, it's a little lower end, it's lower margin, but it's good steady work that has to be - someone has to service it.
We see that as good market, it's projected to stay above 50% even after next five years, so still the majority will be vertical boreholes. Even though the land rig, when you look at the rig count there are more rigs drilling horizontally but the vertical ones are just drilled faster so you end up with more boreholes. So that's a market that we want to continue servicing, we're working for a lot of the largest publicly traded companies, out there in the vertical market, mostly West Texas, and we've got probably as high end of the mechanical fleet as anybody out there has, rounded bottom mud tanks, iron roughnecks, high hydraulic horsepower mud pumps, low-knock high tier, engines on the equipment, it runs great, we work safe low downtime.
In addition, for - even those mechanical rigs and all the others we have top tier safety and then our whole production services group is truly best in class in all respect which I'll touch on here in a moment as we go through it. I'm going go through fairly quickly to leave time for Q&A, but production services is roughly 50% of our business, it's important to us, as I mentioned before we've been a steady grower, if you're looking at the wireline, we grew 33% unit count in '10, 26% unit count in '11, we'll grow 14% in '12, coil-tubing 30% growth, well-servicing, I think we grew 19 units this year, and 14 last year. Those are some of the highest-end well-service rigs out there.
Land drilling as I mentioned we've added total of 10 new ones and we exchanged those tens for 9 older low-horsepower rigs. We've go signed, long-term contracts on all ten rigs. The average term is about 3 years, we have some longer than 3, some shorter than 3, but the average is about 3. We did have contract it was terminated recently by an operator, because that one contract had a drop-dead delivery date and we couldn't get the rig delivered on time, so they cancelled it.
We've sent - rebooked that with another big publicly traded company. And that rig and we signed that contract same day-rate, but the duration drop from 3 years to 2 years, and instead of going out to the Bakken, that rig will go to the Uinta basin. So we're excited to get that result. This is what I was talking about earlier, that is, it's not very well understood and you can see this graphically on the wells drilled if you zero in on 2011 on the graph on the left the vertical holes are the majority of the wells drilled in 2011 and you can see as you move out to 2017, it's still projected to be the majority of the wells drilled.
Those are the wellbores that these mechanical 1000 to 1300 horsepower rigs, we'll target an AC joystick top drive rig, cannot compete because we can move these others quicker the day rates are lower they're more advantages from the operator, so those rigs will always be needed in addition, as gas prices creep up, you'll have a great opportunity to increase the day rates on those rigs, and when you look at the, our whole fleet which - let me get to that here in a second, but when you look at the fleet overall, the rigs that have gone down the lowest in terms of this readjustment in day rate have been the mechanical rigs, and the - has been the mechanical rigs, they've gone down about 3% in day rates.
Whereas the AC rigs, that have come off-term or the STR rigs, or the mechanical rigs, with top drives, those have all come down closer to 10% so it's been quite an adjustment there.
I mentioned our safety; we've been working very very hard on safety for the last five years, or longer. Proud to report that in 2011, we were the safest land contract driller in the United State, in the well servicing space, we are also I believe the safest and more than likely in wireline so, the safety is really helping us year-to-date, I think we're the third safest land driller, very close to 1 and two, we all stay pretty bunched up together there.
But it's been a real door opener for us to have this dramatically improve safety records. I'm going to go through these slides, fairly quickly, because we've covered a lot of it, but what I want everybody to understand here is, a bar none, our well-servicing fleet is the best in the industry, it's all - 100% I these rigs are 550 to 600 horsepower, all with mass of a 104 and 112 or 116 feet tall. And 100% of them are capable to drill in any shale play in the United States.
We're the only fleet out there, with those kind of qualities, as a result of that, we've been the highest utilized than any of our peers and we've had the highest hourly rate than any of our peers.
When you look at the wireline, as I've kind of mentioned before, we have leading market share positions in a number of key markets, Bakken shale, we're the largest cased-hole wireline provider, the state of Montana Kansas, Colorado, so we're a key player I think in the Eagle Ford we're probably in the top five cased-hole wireline at this point. We've grown that very rapidly.
Coil Tubing, it's fairly new to us. But our equipment is all knew, we've got a very very experienced senior management team, we started with 10 this year, we've added an off-shore unit. And another on-shore unit, and we're about to take delivery of a third on-shore unit. The off-shore are doing all maintenance work, out in the Gulf of Mexico, shale and deep water. And the on-shore units are mostly two inch coil. And those are spread between Haynesville, Granite Wash, onshore Louisiana and Eagle Ford. Eagle Ford one of our core markets there.
When you look at the drilling, this is where we're currently located around the country, we've got 12 units, in North Dakota, we'll add one more I think or two more up there, some our new-builds, Utah we have five rigs, we'll add one new-build there. West Texas, and the Panhandle we have 22 rigs, South Texas, which includes the Eagle Ford, 13 rigs and East Texas has 4 rigs, the Marcellus shale 4 rigs, and the country Columbia 8 rigs.
In Columbia, this top bullet point relates to Columbia, we've had - we're just one of the top performers in Columbia, working predominantly for Ecopetrol the [government] oil company, I think they're the eighth largest oil company in the US. Last year, their top two performing rigs out of a 140 rigs - ours were 1 and 2, but the crew have aided them very very well down there for a long low-down times, superior safety.
We have on the drilling fleet we have maintained a lot of contract coverage, we are focused on that, we're running 79% of the working rigs, are under term contract, and 74% of the rigs are with mid-to very large publicly traded company, so we've got a outstanding customer base. As I mentioned earlier, in all these services, predominantly oil.
This is kind of a breakdown of our drilling rig, fleet, the new-builds are over on the right, just a point of differentiation there on our new-builds they are all true walking rigs for pad drilling application, they're not skid rigs, there's a lots of issues, it come with skid rigs and there are a lot of skid rigs out in the market of AC joystick variety.
Our are all true walking rigs with pedestal type walking systems on them. We're the only contractor out there on our 1500s operating 2000 horsepower mud pumps with 7500 psi fluid [end], these just allow the drilling parameters to operate at continuous pressures of 5000 and greater, for faster penetration greater mud cleaning properties, and the rigs have been just performing exceptionally well.
Then we have our more traditional SCR rigs, those were the new-builds of the 2000 to 2008 vintage. Two of those were actually the first two AC joystick rigs ever built in the US, back in 2000, but we were a little ahead of that technology curve and we had to adjust those back to traditional SCR. But we've been messing with AC now for well over decade.
Then we have our mechanical rigs with top drives, these are performing extremely well, we've got a total of 10 of them. They're four of them I think are - or 5 of them are in the Permian and, or in West Texas, West Texas division and we have one in Bakken, one in Utah one in South Texas, so those are doing well and of course our mechanical rigs, are predominantly in West Texas drilling the vertical hole and then we have some shallow we're in mobile rigs, Cabot 750, 900s that are traditional working in South Texas. But it's a great, well-maintained fleet there.
With that good fleet, good safety record, good performance, our utilization has been stellar that we were in red, we historically enjoyed this is over the past decade, a very very high utilization relative to the pack, continue to do so, today.
I'm going to run through these fairly quickly here, but these are some of the attributes, of things that we've added to the 50 series rigs, watched over the new-builds from the 2001 to the 2008 period. All have top drives number of them walking systems, automatic cat walks, et cetera.
Then our new-build features all have integrated top drives, walking systems, state-of-the-art controls, just been very well these festoon systems to keep your - all your electrical very well organized. That you set up once, you walk forward 10 or 15 feet and all your electrical just follows along on festoon track, this just worked terrific.
Quick look at the financials, we were hoping to hit a billion of revenues in 2012, due to this little slow down. We are not quite going to make it, hope we will next year. EBITDA annualized to the third quarter. I think we just had $252 million of EBITDA, so pretty good steady EBITDA growth over the last few years. If you look at our balance sheet we are fairly leveraged. We have $425 million of long-term public debt that we put out there, so we get a forward to build all these new-build rigs and to purchase the core oil tubing business that we purchased at the end of last year. And then to complete the new-builds we have had to borrow upon our revolving line of credit. So we're fairly levered right now.
After the first quarter when the last new-build is delivered we're going to ratchet into CapEx very considerably. We will spend about $340 million, $350 million this year. Next year we're forecasting about $120 million to $140 million. So we will lift all of this growth, get out there and start working for us, generate the cash. We hope to pay down the revolving credit facility next year after we deliver the last new-builds and then continue building cash, so we can make a significant reduction in our longer-term debt. Where after March of next year, March of '14 we can prepay that debt, and so we are trying to build a little war chest so we will be in a position to pay a substantial portion of that in 2014.
So that's kind of our debt to EBITDA has been under two, about a two, so we are in pretty good shape there. All of them, most of that debt matures in 2018. So it's interest only, no crunches on anything. But we borrowed when we needed to borrow, now we are going to harvest the cash and try to fix up that balance sheet.
I think I will end there and be happy to entertain any questions.
(Inaudible) most of the future what you are seeing in terms of cost pressures to pricing and just overall opportunities there?
Well Columbia is probably one of the better international markets, but I would just say international is a challenge, it's just, you know when we moved into Columbia there were no shale plays in the US. That was pre really Barnett Shale. So we had very little oil exposure at that time and there was some concern about the US market. So we moved into Columbia, it's worked out extremely well for us. I think as I mentioned earlier we performed at the top of the pack down there. We have been able to garner all this business from Ecopetrol.
And I think currently our day rates are good. We have eight rigs down there. We've got a couple stacks for the better part of this year, one of them is contracted and about to move next week to go back to work. That rig, the six current rigs that are drilling are all at very attractive day rates with six that will dome at the end of the. We think we will renew them, they are all working in one field for Ecopetrol.
We have been told by then, they want to keep those rigs working in that field. We will go through a negotiation process on the day rates. I think they will stay pretty close to where they are, maybe slightly lower due to the US market being a little lower, but I think we will just have to see that as we go. But it's a good market. The change has been the US market. So with all the opportunity we see here in the US for all our services. Our preference is to put our capital first into retiring debt, but second to growth here in the US.
Could you bring those rigs back to the US?
We could. We don't really want to do that. They're purposely suited for that market and performing very well. Our preference here in the US will be to continue supplying state-of-the-art new-builds to drill the shale plays like the 10 new-builds we have built and we would like to keep those eight down in Columbia. That's our, that's what we are striving to do, because we would like to balance and it's a good market, we worked hard to establish what was established there. So we would rather not pull equipment out of there. We should have all eight rigs and the eighth rig we're in final negotiations on putting that rig back to work as well. So there is a good chance there by the end of year. We'll have all eight running and with the outlook being positive.
(inaudible) how would you reconcile the fact that the US rig count is still trending lower. I think you highlighted that you don't, you are not seeing for the pricing declines at this point. Just kind of reconcile those two things that seem to be at odds?
Well the rig count, it feels to me like its starting to plateau a little bit in here and we have seen a pretty good price decline. I think most of our operators would like to continue using this. There is not a goal by these folks, we have been working for them for a long time. To beat this up they just want to go in right. So the sense that I have is that rate reductions are there with the customers we have as we renew our contracts we'll adjust those rates to the current level, but we just haven't seen an indication of rates going really any lower, which is good. Because I think people in this space, activity is going to pickup and the rig count increasing next year. I don't know where it will end up, average '12 versus average '13, but certainly rig count should pick up in '13.
And are you customers getting pretty firm indications that activity will pick up in '13 or is it more a hope at this time?
No, I think we are getting senses that activity will pickup. [They are] pretty optimistic I think still.
You mentioned that you still have the few new-builds coming in early part of 2013. Any, what would you peg the whole industry's new-build coming in 2013 to be around?
That's a good question. I kind of think there is 50 to 100 still out there, it's kind of hard to nail it down, because some as I understand are going to continue building and don't yet have contracts. So whether they really go through that or not we'll wait and see, but I think it would be unfortunate for the industry if they just keep indiscriminately building, but there is I will say a fair amount of new-builds interest out there. We have, we're not trying to add any units of drilling or any other equipment in 2013, because we are committed to reducing our indebtedness but we are having, we hear about it, we're having discussions with our clients and we do see some demand there. Some of that, they'll have to get those from somebody.
Are you seeing a change in the views of land drillers like, that they have to replace their older rigs with newer rigs even if, just like how we are seeing in a jackup market that at some point of time you have to replace your older fleet. Is that the same thing you see going on in the land building market?
To some degree it's going on, but at the root of success in drilling is your crews. People frequently talk about having state-of-the-art equipment? But really at the day you kind of stand to your crew quality, you can with a good crew you can make any type of rig perform better than the peer, than anybody else, no matter what kind of equipment they have.
Just this morning upstairs one of our largest clients was down the hall and went into say hello, and he told me, he said you've got out Alpha rig. And I said, well what's that, he said, well it's our top performing rigs. Well that rig is one of the earlier generation new-builds that's not AC, not joystick but its performing better than - and they had like - 14 rigs running. We have a fair number of those, but they're using pretty much everybody else.
So that's an older style SCR rig that is outperforming a number of AC joystick rigs crew. Over the Uinta basin, for years we have been working I think they've been there seven years, a mechanical 1,000 horsepower rig with a walking system and a top drive and that is the lowest cost rig that operator has. It out drills other two AC joystick rigs competitors, crews again.
So, they are, as rigs laid down, you are going to see AC joysticks rigs laid down, you are going to SCR rigs lay down, you are going to see mechanical rigs lay down. The rigs that get laid down generally are for performance unless there is, sometimes you get laid down even if your good performer of any class of those rigs, because there are other type term and they step with them. But generally speaking it's the rigs that don't perform, they get laid down and a lot of AC joystick rigs that get laid down, because of that. So, but I think in a general sense, the rigs like the our new-builds they are performing very, very well and over time I think there will be a general shift towards those modern rigs over time for sure.
(inaudible) happen to improve those businesses. I know coil, some these issues were (inaudible).
Well in Wireline, I think a lot of our clients came to us when we had that oil price shock, and you've heard about a number of them publicly, [Hath] came out publicly, Continental came out publicly in the Bakken and said hey guys we are going to need some help. You this price of oil and 120 more at 78 or 80 and we're going to need some help and we responded to that and we'll for good clients like that.
But as activity starts picking back up and its solid now, I mean it's still solid. It's nothing wrong with the activity level, pricing is down but activity is still good, and as the new budgets get rolled out, I think you'll see that activity pick up more and then we'll be able to recover that pricing later next year. So I think that, I don't know if we'll get the full 10% drop back by the end of next year or not, but we'll certainly make up ground if activity levels pickup which we think they will.
Coil tubing, you know we have heard us talk, we have had our problems there, that have been mostly unique to us. We have got a softening in that market. I would say pricing there is may be of an order of 5% or so, but for us it has been a number of one off issues, but we had two terms contracts come to an end. So we had to - we get those units back to work on the spot market, didn't have quite the same marketing capability that we thought. You don't need much of a market when you have it on term. So when it's on spot. It's a little tougher to get him to work.
So we had to replace a number of field level positions and even some field management. Then we had a little bit of equipment kind of maintenance related issues with as we move some of these toolings units into the Eagle Ford and the laterals kept getting further and further it was putting a lot of strain and stress on the type of equipment we are running.
So we have ordered replacement equipment that is adequate to handle those longer lateral well and we'll be installing that during this fourth quarter primarily. Then our two, new two inch coal units already have those capabilities, have a little more strong pump packages with them and they have the longer capacity coil. So those will go right into the Eagle Ford and we'll take those other wins and move those to some other regions.
Another problem we had when we had these term contracts is we didn't have a base of operation. We had one unit on term. While it's very hard to service a market say the Granite Wash with just one two inch unit up there. Most people want a little more two or three units. So, we'll when we bring in the new units we'll be able to add to these other areas, so we're not dependent on just having one coil unit. It can really service some easier clients that way.
So I think we're, we have addressed all of those issues for Pioneer, so that's behind us, now we are just dealing with the market, fine tuning our operation. I think that it will be a first right call operation. That we'll want to grow in the future and I think that it will be a first right call of operation that we'll want to grow in the future when we have cash availability. And just I do think it will be a lot better next year than this year and I think we're already seeing strengthening here in the fourth quarter. So we're feeling a lot better about that, any additional questions?
Maybe just a quick conceptual question, we have seen number of the other land drillers getting to pressure pumping, you've taken a different route. Maybe just a little more detail about the synergies you see in, the business that you've been to versus pressure pumping.
Well pressure pumping would be a great business, but at the time we were evaluating other business lines to move into everybody and their [brother] was building a pressure pumping unit that was one aspect. The other aspect to have it, it has characteristics that are similar to drilling. Drilling is very capital intensive, these drilling rigs that we're building all in costs for a Bakken rig with a walking system, automatic catwalk BLP handling system, 2000 horsepower pump, 7500 psi fluid ends you're looking at $23 million asset. Very high depreciation, good day rates good, margins but still it's an expensive capital, it's a high capital outlay.
Wireline, $23 million is a big budget, one new-build, here we're building 10 of them one new-build of them. One new-build is a big wireline budget. It's a pretty big well service budget, it's a pretty big coal budget. So those businesses, they are a lot less capital intensive, but they have a higher gross margin, but they are spot.
Drilling on the other hand is, they got a very high, the new-builds at least. We are still targeting a 20% internal rate of return hurdle rate, whereas the internal rate of returns on these other production services is higher than that, but it's spot.
Drilling is termed, fixed cash flow, it's very high EBITDA percent of the sales. So it's a nice balance. What we didn't feel like we needed was another one like it, like pressure pumping. Not to mention all the dynamics of oversupply. So do we feel like the production services gives us three lower capital, high margin businesses to grow, three more platforms to grow and that just goes very well with drilling, if you like.
And you noticed we've changed our name Pioneer Energy Services. We're all under one name, one flag, one brand, and the cross-selling opportunities are phenomenal. And we are now cross-selling all of these services to every drilling customer, and then of course if you're in with the wireline is constantly getting coil in or well services and they're just - it's just working very very well together.
Stacy, thank you.
Thank you, all very much.
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