• 2 days U.S. On Track To Unseat Saudi Arabia As No.2 Oil Producer In the World
  • 2 days Senior Interior Dept. Official Says Florida Still On Trump’s Draft Drilling Plan
  • 3 days Schlumberger Optimistic In 2018 For Oilfield Services Businesses
  • 3 days Only 1/3 Of Oil Patch Jobs To Return To Canada After Downturn Ends
  • 3 days Statoil, YPF Finalize Joint Vaca Muerta Development Deal
  • 3 days TransCanada Boasts Long-Term Commitments For Keystone XL
  • 3 days Nigeria Files Suit Against JP Morgan Over Oil Field Sale
  • 3 days Chinese Oil Ships Found Violating UN Sanctions On North Korea
  • 3 days Oil Slick From Iranian Tanker Explosion Is Now The Size Of Paris
  • 4 days Nigeria Approves Petroleum Industry Bill After 17 Long Years
  • 4 days Venezuelan Output Drops To 28-Year Low In 2017
  • 4 days OPEC Revises Up Non-OPEC Production Estimates For 2018
  • 4 days Iraq Ready To Sign Deal With BP For Kirkuk Fields
  • 4 days Kinder Morgan Delays Trans Mountain Launch Again
  • 4 days Shell Inks Another Solar Deal
  • 5 days API Reports Seventh Large Crude Draw In Seven Weeks
  • 5 days Maduro’s Advisors Recommend Selling Petro At Steep 60% Discount
  • 5 days EIA: Shale Oil Output To Rise By 1.8 Million Bpd Through Q1 2019
  • 5 days IEA: Don’t Expect Much Oil From Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Before 2030
  • 5 days Minister Says Norway Must Prepare For Arctic Oil Race With Russia
  • 5 days Eight Years Late—UK Hinkley Point C To Be In Service By 2025
  • 5 days Sunk Iranian Oil Tanker Leave Behind Two Slicks
  • 5 days Saudi Arabia Shuns UBS, BofA As Aramco IPO Coordinators
  • 5 days WCS-WTI Spread Narrows As Exports-By-Rail Pick Up
  • 5 days Norway Grants Record 75 New Offshore Exploration Leases
  • 6 days China’s Growing Appetite For Renewables
  • 6 days Chevron To Resume Drilling In Kurdistan
  • 6 days India Boosts Oil, Gas Resource Estimate Ahead Of Bidding Round
  • 6 days India’s Reliance Boosts Export Refinery Capacity By 30%
  • 6 days Nigeria Among Worst Performers In Electricity Supply
  • 6 days ELN Attacks Another Colombian Pipeline As Ceasefire Ceases
  • 6 days Shell Buys 43.8% Stake In Silicon Ranch Solar
  • 7 days Saudis To Award Nuclear Power Contracts In December
  • 7 days Shell Approves Its First North Sea Oil Project In Six Years
  • 7 days China Unlikely To Maintain Record Oil Product Exports
  • 7 days Australia Solar Power Additions Hit Record In 2017
  • 7 days Morocco Prepares $4.6B Gas Project Tender
  • 7 days Iranian Oil Tanker Sinks After Second Explosion
  • 9 days Russia To Discuss Possible Exit From OPEC Deal
  • 9 days Iranian Oil Tanker Drifts Into Japanese Waters As Fires Rage On
Alt Text

Expect A New Wave Of Oilfield Service IPOs In 2018

The oilfield service sector had…

Alt Text

$70 Oil Cripples European Refiners

The surge in oil prices…

Shell’s New Permian Play Profitable At $20 A Barrel

Shell tank truck

OPEC’s worries about the booming U.S. oil production have increased significantly with the big three oil companies’ interest in shale. Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, and Chevron Corp., are planning $10 billion of investments in shale in 2017, a quantum jump compared to previous years. All the naysayers who doubted the longevity of the shale oil industry may have to modify their forecasts.

OPEC lost when they pumped at will as lower oil prices destroyed their finances, and now they are losing their hard-earned market share as a result of cutting production. Shell’s declaration that they can “make money in the Permian with oil at $40 a barrel, with new wells profitable at about $20 a barrel” is an indication that Shell is here to stay, whatever the price of oil.

The arrival of the big three oil companies with their loaded balance sheets is good news for the longevity of the shale industry.

The oil crash, which started in 2014, pushed more than 100 shale oil companies into bankruptcy, causing default on at least $70 billion of debt, according to The Economist. Even the ones that survived haven’t been very profitable, according to Bloomberg, which said that the top 60 listed E&P firms have “burned up cash for 34 of the last 40 quarters”.

Therefore, during the downturn, the smaller players had to slow down their operations, but this will not be the case with the big three.

“Big Oil is cash-flow positive, so they can take a longer-term view,’’ said Bryan Sheffield, the billionaire third-generation oilman who heads Parsley Energy Inc. “You’re going to see them investing more in shale,” reports Bloomberg.

The majors are attempting to further improve the economics of operation. Shell said that its cost per well has been reduced to $5.5 million, a 60 percent drop from 2013. Instead of drilling a single well per pad, which was the norm, Shell is now drilling five wells per pad, 20 feet apart, which saves money previously spent on moving rigs from site to site.

Shell is not the only one—Chevron expects its shale production to increase 30% every year for the next decade. Similarly, Exxon plans to allocate one-third of its drilling budget this year to shale, and it expects to quadruple its shale output by 2025. Related: OPEC Out Of Moves As Goldman Sachs Expects Another Oil Glut In 2018

“The arrival of Big Oil is very significant for shale,” said Deborah Byers, U.S. energy leader at consultant Ernst & Young in Houston. “It marries a great geological resource with a very strong balance sheet.”

$30 billion has been spent on land acquisitions in the Permian basin since mid-2016, which is a favorite among oil companies.

Considering the new projects and the resurgent shale boom, Goldman Sachs expects oil output to increase by 1 million barrels a day year-on-year. The outcome is an oversupply in the next couple of years.

"2017-19 is likely to see the largest increase in mega projects' production in history, as the record 2011-13 capex commitment yields fruit," the U.S. investment bank said in a research note on Tuesday, reports Reuters.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects the U.S. oil production to top 10 million barrels by December 2018, a level only surpassed in October and November 1970.

OPEC is running out of options.

By Rakesh Upadhyay for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Back to homepage


Leave a comment
  • RH on March 26 2017 said:
    Shell's qtr4 earnings presentation just put their Permian breakeven at $40/bbl. Did BE drop 50% since Feb 2, 2017. Also; their budget 2017 is the same as 2016 for shales. So what am I missing?
  • EH on March 26 2017 said:
    I just love, like everyone else, being BS'd. First, we can't make it if it falls below $60. Then it was , "$50". Now,,,$20? You know if you tell a fable "lie" long enough, ya can get some to believe it's FACT! But, your the fool in the end,, cause the truth makes you so,, it dosent evaporate, only your lie.
  • Guy M on March 27 2017 said:
    20 a barrel? Totally irresponsible journalism.
  • petergrt on March 27 2017 said:
    How about the Russian and Argentinian shale . . . . . . much bigger deposits and just now getting started.
  • adec on March 27 2017 said:
    Stop the Hype please. How many of them are really making money? The shareholders and investors are misled by articles like this one to fund them, just to survive another day but drag the whole industry down.
  • Tony F on March 27 2017 said:
    GuyM:
    Why "totally irresponsible journalism"? The author did not say that, Shell said $20.
  • Mick on March 27 2017 said:
    This article isn't about Shell or any other company's actual operations or plans. It's telling us why oil will soon be at $25 soon and never come back.
  • david on March 29 2017 said:
    $20.00 a bbl...wow, people will say anything. I bet Shell is profitable at $0.00...why not.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News