Cost & Risk - Fracking Well Personnel


To gain understanding of the labor-related costs of having technology personnel onsite at a fracking well project, to better inform cost-benefit analysis.

Early Findings

Fracking salaries located

  • Fracking hourly employees, including fuel specialists, average $17/hour.
  • Fracking engineers have an average annual salary range of $67k-$76k

Cost and Profit Factors

  • Overall profit margins from fracking are kept low due to high competition with the multiple agencies involved in creating and maintaining the well.
  • Costs of using fiber optics permanent installations tend to be high, which limits the number of wells a company constructs, cutting into potential profits and raising costs.
  • The use of downhole fiber sensing is not common in fracking due to the high costs of installation of the system.
  • Some companies, such as Silixa, began using a "low-frequency strain and microseismic monitoring" program called Carina XwellXpress, to allow monitoring and immediate maintenance, which provides real-time data and cuts down costs compared to the permanent fiber optics method.

Contracting Technology Services

  • Technology services in fracking tend to be contracted, and specific quotes are not publically available. A business would need to contact a company offering fracturing services, such as Schlumberger.
  • The business manager would provide specific information, such as the services needed and location of services, to connect with a sales associate to obtain a cost quote.
  • In general, a hired contractor will charge the company 10-25% of the total cost of the project. Fracking likely sees similar charges from contractors.

Summary of Early Findings

Specific information regarding the costs of personnel involved in fracking technology was not available on public websites. Obtaining cost quotes required specific contact with a contractor and providing project-specific information, and therefore could not be conducted by researchers. While multiple resources referenced high costs of fracking technology and possible alternatives, specific cost information was not available. However, some proprietary research may be of further assistance.

Proprietary Research Available

We found some proprietary research from one of our data partners which may be helpful:
1. Hydraulic Fracturing Market — Growth, Trends, and Forecast
Section 4.7.5 Competitive Rivalry (Mordor Intelligence, LLP, $168.36)
Section 4.7.3 Threat of New Entrants (Mordor Intelligence, LLP, $141.40)

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