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The Texas Shale Patch Is Considering The Unthinkable


Following the 2014 Thanksgiving massacre, Saudi Arabia effectively broke up OPEC to try to kill the US shale sector by overproducing oil and sending prices plunging. It failed largely thanks to the extreme generosity of "yield-starved" junk bond buyers.

Six years later, and another, far more harrowing price war later which dragged the price of oil to nearly two-decade lows, Saudi Arabia appears to have finally won.

Texas regulators are considering curtailing oil production in America’s largest oil-producing state, "something they haven’t done in decades", the WSJ reports citing sources. Additionally, the report goes on to note that several oil executives have reached out to members of the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates the industry, requesting relief following the oil-price crash. In other words, oil is joining every other US industry (including movie theaters) in seeking a bailout.

Texas, along with New Mexico, hasn't limited oil production since the 1970s and is the home of the Permian Basin, America's most productive oil field and the epicenter of the shale revolution which started 12 years ago and has made America into the world's top oil producer, with roughly 13mmb/d in output. It has also become Saudi Arabia's top global competitor.

Texas was an inconvenience for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which has sought to control world-wide oil prices in recent decades. OPEC effectively disintegrated last weekend when Saudi Arabia announced it would maximize output, boosting production to as much as 13mmb/d, unleashing panic among higher-cost OPEC oil producers.

It is unclear whether regulators will ultimately act to curtail production, but staffers are examining what would be required in such an event.

By Zerohedge.com

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  • Rob Norman on March 23 2020 said:
    It’s impossible to get any definitive information on the statistics and numbers around what is happening to the global economy.
    Sites like this one offer conflicting numbers in consecutive articles. Eg; one article says US shale can keep producing at under $30 a barrel whilst another says they need way more, around $70, to break even. It matters a lot whether either is right or its another number in between. One more example; China consumes 10 mbpd, another says $13 mbpd. Now that’s an important difference.
    I thought this website would arty least be consistent but its impossible to get any reliable figures!!!!! What does this say to readers in the current uncertainty???
    I believe we are going to see countries going bust before long. How can oil suppliers continue to pump out oil at huge losses? How can countries print ever more larger amounts of money to support economies that are falling off a cliff?
  • david Bennett on March 20 2020 said:
    In this climate, its far from unthinkable. Either the producers curtail in 2020 or they wont have to worry about it next year, they wont be around. It's that simple.
  • Leo Kobrinsky on March 20 2020 said:
    "Texas regulators are considering curtailing oil production in America’s largest oil-producing state" - could somebody explain what is it for?

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