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?

Alberta Oil - - REPORT ON THE U.S. - By Todd Coyne

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.

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