Last week, the U.S. reached an historic agreement with Iran that will include lifting economic sanctions and allow the oil-rich nation to sell its oil once again. This news has analysts and energy executives worried about the impact on the global oil markets and the Eagle Ford Shale specifically.
Clearly this is bad timing. Since crude prices bottomed out in November, many producers have struggled to stay afloat while waiting for things to stabilize. If Iran floods the market with its crude as expected, prices will continue to fluctuate and will likely decline. Some analysts predict a drop in the price of WTI to as low as $40 a barrel.
This price point will be difficult for most producers to withstand for the long term, but many have been able to stay the course and gain strength by slashing costs associated with drilling through greater efficiencies and supplier reductions. Eagle Ford Economist Tom Tunstall of UTSA believes prices will definitely fall, but the efficiencies of the unconventional drilling will allow for smart Eagle Ford producers to remain profitable.
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Bloomberg’s Mark Barton doesn’t think that there will be an immediate impact and believes that it will take 6-12 months for Iran to even begin moving towards production. He goes on to say that Bloomberg is predicts $62 a barrel in the fourth quarter. See Barton’s full comments in the video below: