Qatar Today - - BUSINESS -

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.

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