The shale boom has done many things to ‘Make America Great Again’—but that greatness hasn’t necessarily extended to oil and gas companies.
It’s sent U.S. oil production skyward to the record-breaking 12.4 million bpd, according to the EIA’s weekly field production report, but America’s oil and gas companies are merely treading water.
It pulled America closer to that Holy Grail of energy independence.
It stripped OPEC and Russia of some of a nice chunk of oil market clout.
It gave Washington some swag.
Still, American energy companies aren’t rejoicing.
In a situation mostly of their own doing, American oil companies—mainly those in shale country---are reaping what they have sown. US shale drillers have done such a bang-up job, that there is now a perception of excess light oil. They did too well. Prices responded to the excess by falling, curbing profits for these overzealous drilling companies. And now many companies are feeling their own self-created—at least in part—pinch, with almost 200 US oil and gas companies filing bankruptcy in the last four years, according to the New York Times.
So while America is indeed gaining its energy independence, it is doing so at the expense of shale oil companies who cannot do it all—they can’t pump oil, pay back debt taken on during the boom part of the cycle, and give back to their shareholders. There just isn’t enough profit to go around. And unless oil prices increase substantially, something’s got to give. Related: Another Beneficiary Of The OPEC Deal Emerges
Yet there is one ray of hope that could help US oil and gas companies to tighten their belts to add to their bottom lines: technology. The technology that allowed drillers to go after shale deposits that were once untappable was a breakthrough that changed the oil industry forever. Now we’re waiting for the next breakthrough.
Many of the new technological advances deal with the environment, which likely comes as no surprise as the oil industry grows increasingly wise to the shifting of the activist tides. Some of these technological advances deal with carbon capturing, and some deal with finding alternate uses for methane. Other technology is geared toward increasing efficiency and improve throughput, the push for better data, workplace safety improvements and even alternate technologies.
So which companies are at the forefront of this technology? Which will be the first to make significant changes to adapt to this lower price, lower profit environment?
We have evaluated the Top 50 oil and gas companies in the world. Not only the biggest. Not just the brightest. Those with the most potential going forward. Our evaluation is primarily based on growth potential, how each company is suited to the current oil market, who is at the forefront of technological advances, and who is adapting to the environmental concerns of the day.
We have ranked the top 50 oil and gas companies in the world—including the major players in America—in our annual Top 50 Oil and Gas Companies report. The top 50 list doesn’t just include the biggest oil and gas companies—we’ve covered As the oil and gas landscape goes through these profound changes, it is now more important than ever to understand how the world's top oil companies are doing, what their strategies are, what their cash outlook is that will allow them to adapt to this new environment.
Find out what sets each American oil and gas company apart from its competition. We’ve not only ranked them, but we’ve scored them. We’ve also listed their greatest strength as well as their greatest weakness. We’ve evaluated smaller companies such as Gulfport Energy and larger behemoths such as Chevron, and everything in between.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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