FOR Chesapeake Energy Corporation and its affiliated companies, 2013 was a busy year and 2014 should bring even more activity. Chesapeake is the second largest producer of natural gas in the United States, and a top 11 producer of crude oil and natural gas liquids.

In the third quarter of 2013, Chesapeake Energy’s daily net crude oil production rose 23% year-over-year to 120,000 barrels per day, and natural gas liquids production was up 31% year-over-year for a total of 58,500 barrels per day. Over the course of 2013, the company averaged roughly 70 drilling rigs operating in oil and gas shale plays.

Oilfield Trucking Solutions (OTS) is one of the affiliates that was heavily involved in supporting the drilling and production operations. Acquired by Chesapeake Energy in 2009, the tank truck fleet hauls crude oil, condensate, water, drilling mud, and acids for its parent company. OTS operates 280 trucks in Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

“Our operation saw significant growth in 2012 and 2013, and there is more growth coming in 2014,” says Christopher Broussard, president of Oilfield Trucking Solutions. “In January 2012, we were hauling 29,000 barrels of crude oil a day. We topped 80,000 barrels of crude oil a day in 2013, and we expect to add another 10,000 to 15,000 barrels a day in 2014.

“We haul about 40% of Chesapeake Energy’s liquids production, and that gives us plenty to do. We’ll handle the production increase over the next year with approximately the same number of trucks already in operation, but we probably will increase the number of drivers.”

Services group

Based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, OTS is part of Chesapeake Oilfield Services, which includes Performance Technologies, Hodges Trucking Co, Great Plains Oilfield Rentals, Compass Manufacturing, and Nomac Drilling. Trucks in the OTS fleet traveled several million miles over the past year in support of Chesapeake Energy’s drilling, well completion, and production operations.

The growth has been steady and sure since the trucking affiliate got its start almost a decade ago as a water hauler in the Marcellus shale play in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Following its acquisition by Chesapeake Energy, the trucking affiliate expanded both the products hauled and its operating area.

On the water side, OTS transports process and flowback water generated by the drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Texas, Ohio, and Oklahoma. Water trucks are used in fluid containment during some fracking operations in the Marcellus. The fleet also offers disposal service of fracking fluids into permitted underground injection wells.

“We’ll have another busy year of water hauling in 2014,” Broussard says. “Despite slowdowns in the southern part of the Marcellus shale play, our operations in other areas are continuing to grow. We will also evaluate the possibility of moving water trucks into the Haynesville shale play (in eastern Texas and western Louisiana) in 2014.”