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, Bakken operators, including Emerald Oil, Inc., have already announced plans to potentially scale back their drilling programs in 2015.
North Dakota’s Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) Director Lynn Helms updated lawmakers in October on the status of oil & gas development in the state. Helms said two factors could negatively impact oil production – lower oil prices and new flaring regulations.
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 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 the report.