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Shale Production Heads Into Overdrive

Friday February 16, 2018

In the latest edition of the Numbers Report, we’ll take a look at some of the most interesting figures put out this week in the energy sector. Each week we’ll dig into some data and provide a bit of explanation on what drives the numbers.

Let’s take a look.

1. Exxon battered

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- ExxonMobil's (NYSE: XOM) share price traded at about $75.50 as of February 15, down more than 15 percent since February 1.

- That kind of drop is very rare for one of the world’s largest integrated oil companies. As Bloomberg Gadfly notes, the period of Feb. 1-9 saw the worst decline in Exxon’s stock since October 2008 during the depths of the financial crisis. Gadfly points out that the company lost some $56 billion in value.

- The oil major’s woes are multifaceted. Exxon posted poor fourth quarter figures two weeks ago – lower production levels and weak cash flow.

- Bloomberg Gadfly also points out that Exxon used to trade at a strong premium relative to its peers, but that is no longer the case.

- The longer-term story is that Exxon has seen its return on capital employed fall, undercutting the case for its high share price. Moreover, some of its competitors offer more advantages in terms of cash flow or production growth.

- In other words, the luster for holding Exxon shares has worn off.

2. Shale surge overstated or understated?

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