US producers simply don’t play along with OPEC and Russia.
By Martin Tiller, Oil & Energy Insider:
WTI really does look like it is about to collapse. Let’s be clear, I am not necessarily talking about a return to the sub-$30 of the beginning of 2016 here, but a return to the more recent lows around $42 before too long is distinctly possible, and if that happens, who knows where we go from there? There are, as I have noted in the past, reasons to believe that the long-term path of oil is still upward, but more immediately there is one dominant factor that keeps adding downward pressure, large and still growing supply from North American shale producers.
Some say, as in this FT piece, that there are signs that U.S. shale production has peaked, but then that was also supposed to be the case in 2015 and 2016. I am sure that if I could bother to go back further I would find that the same thing was said in previous years too. The fact is though, that as the EIA chart below shows, after dropping off as price declined at earlier this year, U.S. crude production is growing again and will be higher this year than last and is expected to be higher again in 2018.
The chart below indicates why American producers are pumping at a growing rate. WTI has been recovering ever since the low of $26.05, and is now at levels not seen since June of 2015.
There are reasons for that recovery, most notably the production cuts agreed by OPEC countries and others including Russia and improving global growth, but those bullish factors are now fully priced in and the effect of that is to encourage U.S. E&P companies to, to borrow a phrase, drill, baby, drill!
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