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"Drill, baby, drill" will be the first order of business for Donald Trump should he be elected president, the former president said at a Republican presidential town hall on Wednesday.
Asked about what would be the first thing he would do to cut food and gasoline costs, Trump simply said, "Drill, baby, drill."
Trump is leading in the polls of Republicans for their preferred nominee for next year's presidential election with a wide margin ahead of the nearest potential nominee, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Still, U.S. shale firms are much more disciplined since Trump's stay in the White House, so another term of a President Trump may not be enough to spur a shale revolution 3.0., even if the current regulatory uncertainty goes away. But it certainly can't hurt, and oil prices were already feeling the pressure at just the mention of a return to "drill, baby, drill" mode.
This year, U.S. shale production continues to grow but at a much slower pace than before. A combination of cost inflation and mixed messages from the Biden Administration have left some observers worried about the prospect of peak production.
Shale executives say that peak Permian production will occur this decade.
This could lead to structurally higher prices at the pump as consumers will feel the pinch from U.S. shale losing global market share at the expense of OPEC, which is only set to increase its control over global oil supply.
The new priorities of the shale patch—capital discipline and a focus on returns to shareholders and debt repayments—have coupled with supply chain constraints and cost inflation to drag down U.S. oil production growth in recent months.
American oil executives already said in early March that OPEC is once again the most influential force in global oil supply, and will be so for the foreseeable future now that U.S. shale production growth is slowing.
Scott Sheffield, CEO at the largest pure-play shale producer, Pioneer Natural Resources, told the Financial Times earlier this year, "I think the people that are in charge now are three countries — and they'll be in charge the next 25 years."
"Saudi first, UAE second, Kuwait third."
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.