AS GOOD AS IT GETS?
U.S. shale oil production has peaked, productivity gains have flatlined and the cheap money has all but disappeared. Has the U.S. shale gale finally blown over?
THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE
nature of revolutions that tends to make them simultaneously shortlived and prone to bringing about their own undoing. The U.S. shale oil revolution is no different. The technological advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing unlocked millions of barrels of previously untouchable oil as they emanated from a handful of Texas oil fields in 2007 like a wave. It gathered strength as it rejuvenated lackluster plays across North America and upended the international oil market. But while that wave lifted all the little boats of junior oil companies to brilliant new heights, it also rocked the dreadnought of OPEC, the world oil cartel that had weathered its share of price storms — and always come out the better — since the 1970s.