U.S. shale producers that spent the last year promising to control capital spending and adhere to strict financial controls are finding the lure of higher oil prices irresistible.
Several, including producers Parsley Energy (PE.N), Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD.N) and Continental Resources (CLR.N), this week joined others that already raised capital spending, citing higher costs and a desire to accelerate drilling and well completions programs amid strong pricing.
Last year, investors pressured shale companies, hard-bitten by the 2014 downturn in prices, to rein in spending and return more capital to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks, selling stocks of companies that spent more on drilling.
Oil prices have climbed by about 40 percent in the past year, with the U.S. benchmark CLc1 on Wednesday around $67 per barrel. That run up helped push U.S. production to a record 11 million barrels per day in July, increasing demand for services and tightening labor markets.
Derek Rollingson, portfolio manager of the ICON Energy Fund (ICENX.O), which holds shares of more than a dozen U.S. shale producers, said increasing capital spending makes sense with oil prices expected to rise in coming months.
“It makes sense in this environment given the strength of the forward (oil) contracts,” he said.Click here to read more.
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