Monday, December 17, 2018

Shale Industry Has Come a Long Way Since 2014

From Bloomberg:
U.S. shale’s response to OPEC’s decision to cut supply and boost prices: We’ll take it, but we don’t need it.

In 2014, the U.S. oil industry’s fate seemed to rest in the hands of OPEC ministers who were flooding the market with cheap oil in a push to obliterate them. Now, the cartel is in full retreat, agreeing to cut output to keep their own economies healthy even as U.S. production continues to surge. 
The move came in a week in which oil fell to near $50 a barrel, a price that four years ago would have panicked U.S. drillers. But since then, shale explorers have cut costs, boosted fracking efficiency and made wells longer and more productive. The result: Break evens for a 30 percent profit have been almost halved to just $45 a barrel in the prolific Permian Basin.

“The shale industry can now thrive in a $50 oil world,” David Deckelbaum, a New York-based analyst at Cowen & Co., said by phone. The OPEC decision to support prices over $50 in the U.S. “underwrites most of the industry.”

U.S. oil producers are now generating 11.7 million barrels of oil a day, about a third more than in 2014, with almost half the number of rigs. And last week, the industry became a net exporter for the first time in 75 years.
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