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Liberty Energy Inc. Expects Global Energy Demand to Keep Rising — Commodity Comment

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Published: Jan. 24, 2024 at 7:07 p.m. ET

By Stephen Nakrosis

Energy services firm Liberty Energy Inc. said energy demand around the globe, driven by increasing global living standards, is expected to continue increasing.

Chief Executive Chris Wright said, “As we look ahead, global energy demand continues to rise as the world’s seven billion less fortunate aspire to attain the energy-rich…

By Stephen Nakrosis

Energy services firm Liberty Energy Inc. said energy demand around the globe, driven by increasing global living standards, is expected to continue increasing.

Chief Executive Chris Wright said, “As we look ahead, global energy demand continues to rise as the world’s seven billion less fortunate aspire to attain the energy-rich lifestyles of the lucky one billion.”

On frac industry outlook:

“Entering 2024, the fundamental outlook for the frac industry is stable,” the company said. Liberty also said “service prices remain relatively steady as the industry’s supply of marketed fleets was right-sized in response to lower completions activity.” Accelerated attrition of older equipment and “the deliberate idling of underutilized fleets to match customer demand” caused some fleets to leave the market, Liberty said.

Shale productivity has risen, led by engineering and innovation, Liberty said. “The trend toward higher intensity fracs raises demand for horsepower, serving to keep frac assets well utilized and drive service company returns,” according to the company.

On pricing:

“Global oil and gas markets continue to contend with commodity price fluctuations, owing to developments in geopolitics, interest rates, and macroeconomic data,” the company said. While near-term natural-gas markets are under pressure, “domestic power demand growth and increased LNG exports are expected to lead to a more robust 2025,” Liberty said.

On global energy demand:

Wright said Liberty “recently invested in Oklo, a small modular nuclear reactor company, and Fervo, enhanced geothermal technology, which have the potential to provide reliable, affordable energy solutions” to rising energy demands around the world.

“Long-term demand for reliable, affordable energy continues to rise with increasing global living standards, and North American operators likely serve as the largest provider of incremental oil and gas supply globally. These trends should support a durable, multi-year cycle ahead for services,” the company said.

Write to Stephen Nakrosis at stephen.nakrosis@wsj.com

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