The Shale Delusion: Why The Party’s Over For U.S. Tight Oil

By Arthur Berman at

The party is over for tight oil.

Despite brash statements by U.S. producers and misleading analysis by Raymond James, low oil prices are killing tight oil companies.

Reports this week from IEA and EIA paint a bleak picture for oil prices as the world production surplus continues.

EIA said that U.S. production will fall by 1 million barrels per day over the next year and that, “expected crude oil production declines from May 2015 through mid-2016 are largely attributable to unattractive economic returns.”

IEA made the point more strongly.

“..the latest price rout could stop US growth in its tracks.

In other words, outside of the very best areas of the Eagle Ford, Bakken and Permian, the tight oil party is over because companies will lose money at forecasted oil prices for the next year.

Global Supply and Demand Fundamentals Continue to Worsen

IEA data shows that the current second-quarter 2015 production surplus of 2.6 million barrels per day is the greatest since the oil-price collapse began in 2014 (Figure 1).

Figure 1. World liquids production surplus or deficit by quarter. Source: IEA and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc.

(click image to enlarge)

EIA monthly data for August also indicates a 2.6 million barrel

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