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US service companies set to shine

A tighter market for fracking equipment and a rosy drilling outlook have operators recovering their pre-crash form

As America's oil and gas production marched towards record highs over the past year, a surprising corner of the market was left out of the party—the companies hired to do all that drilling. For the big American oilfield service companies, the recovery has been painfully slow to arrive. After a massive buildout of drilling capacity in the early years of the shale boom, companies were left with a glut of rigs, pressure pumping equipment and other fracking supplies. With so much excess kit laying around, producers knew they could pit their service providers against each other to keep costs low, even as drilling activity picked up. The fact that producers were figuring out ways to get more oil

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