The dip in oil prices isn’t making a huge impact yet on the vast majority of U.S. shale production.
According to a report by research consultancy IHS Energy, most shale plays are economic and ~80% of potential drilling in 2015 would remain strong at WTI crude oil prices as low as $70 per barrel.
WTI traded at ~$76 on Monday, a nearly 20% drop since September. As a result, operators in Texas, including ConocoPhillips and Eagle Ford-focused Clayton Williams, have already announced plans to potentially scale back their drilling programs in 2015.
Growth Still High, But Expected to Slow in U.S. Shale Plays
At lower prices, growth will slow, but still remain high, according to the IHS report. In 2015, IHS estimates U.S. shale production will grow by 700,000 b/d at an average price of $77 per barrel in 2015. By contrast, in 2014, growth from U.S. shale plays was more than 1-million b/d.
Approximately 80% of anticipated production has a break-even price between $50 to $69 per barrel, according to IHS analysis.
The report notes that existing tight oil production is unaffected by the recent drop in oil prices. Existing wells can remain economical at crude oil prices far below the break-even price for new production because most of their costs are incurred during the initial development phase of the well.
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