US Shale Oil in a Low Price Environment
One of the biggest unanswered questions facing the market is whether or not relatively high-cost US shale oil production can survive in a relatively low oil price environment (sub $60 per barrel). This is the first economic test of the shale oil renaissance. While shale production has thus far proved resilient (due to a combination of factors, such as enhancing efficiency gains, lowering the cost of services, and retreating to the more productive areas), signs of weakness are beginning to show.
This paper seeks to answer a number of questions, including:
- Can the efficiency gains made over the past several months sustain current production levels?
- Which of the main shale plays are likely to be impacted the most?
- Will debt levels and bankruptcies put US companies and production at risk? ….