As continued OPEC curbs alongside a further hefty Saudi cut nudge WTI back above $50 per barrel, U.S. shale drillers have pulled back from the abyss.
Rising U.S. production has helped oil markets shrug off the Abqaiq attack - but the days of booming domestic output may be coming to an end.
Oil majors continue to ratchet up activity in U.S. shale, even as other producers cut back.
U.S. oil exports recently hit new highs with a record number of export destinations, but shale's recent woes mean continued success is not guaranteed.
Making a profit in the shale patch has been an uphill battle to begin with for many companies, but the latest crash in crude prices makes that task much more difficult. Bankruptcies could begin to rise if oil prices fail to rebound.
Given the oil industry’s capital-intensive nature, and the difficulty of smaller producers to profit from operations, investors are hopeful that the long-anticipated wave of consolidations will be sparked by the Chevron-Anadarko deal.
The dramatic slimming down over the past half-decade by the oil and gas industry has led to a steep drop off in spending, exploration and final investment decisions on new projects—raising the possibility of a supply crunch in the early 2020s.
With more buyers from around the world requesting U.S. crude, a Houston-based price point has become necessary.
When Saudi Arabia threatens to weaponize its oil production, the U.S. cannot afford to brush off this warning by overestimating the potential of shale to cover the shortfalls.
However, it isn’t clear that newfound interest in a variety of shale plays outside of West Texas will prove durable.