Wednesday, December 16, 2015

How Bad Can It Get For Shale Oil?


There is nothing Saudi Arabia or OPEC can do about shale oil over the long term.

At best they can only delay the inevitable.

Millions of barrels of shale oil will be introduced into the market over the next decade.

Companies with shale exposure, over time, will take market share away from OPEC.

From some of the headlines I've read recently, you would think the U.S. shale industry has been defeated by Saudi Arabia and OPEC, and everything in the oil sector going to return to where things were before shale producers entered the market.

Not only is this a fallacy, it is the exact opposite, which is why the strategy of oversupplying the market will remain in place for now in order to keep the price of oil low, which in turn makes it more difficult to invest in new exploration and development.

The idea of market share being the battleground being fought over is a misguided one because, that would suggest shale oil can be defeated around the world. It's not going to happen. It won't even happen in the U.S., let alone the world.

In the short term there will continue to be pain in the shale segment of the oil sector, as more companies will be forced to go bankrupt, and those that are stronger will have to put development on hold until more favorable market conditions emerge, which of course means a higher oil price.

more on worst-case scenario for shale oil

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