THE US OIL MARKET
Crude oil production from U.S. wells is poised to approach a 42-year record next year as drillers ignore the recent decline in price pointing them in the opposite direction.
U.S. energy producers plan to pump more crude in 2015 as declining equipment costs and enhanced drilling techniques more than offset the collapse in oil markets, said Troy Eckard, whose Eckard Global LLC owns stakes in more than 260 North Dakota shale wells. Oil companies, while trimming 2015 budgets to cope with the lowest crude prices in five years, are also shifting their focus to their most prolific, lowest-cost fields, which means extracting more oil with fewer drilling rigs, said Goldman Sachs Group Inc. ExxonMobil Corp. (XOM), the largest U.S. energy company, will increase oil production next year by the biggest margin since 2010. So far, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' month-old bet that American drillers would be crushed by cratering prices has been a bust.