6 votes

Why is anyone drilling shale at all these days?

1 comment

  1. skybrian
    From the article:

    From the article:

    Besides the back-of-crumpled-envelope quality of that calculation, there are other reasons a producer might keep drilling anyway. Rigs are often contracted for months at a time; for example, Helmerich & Payne Inc., a leading provider, reported roughly a third of its U.S. onshore rig fleet operated under fixed-term contracts at the end of March. Contracted pipeline space, too, must be paid for whether or not barrels flow through it. Taking a company’s activity down to zero is also traumatic for workers and, like a shut-in well, makes it harder to eventually crank back up. Hedges, meanwhile, shield against low spot prices and represent oil and gas contracted for delivery.

    Then again, hedges could be settled for cash; it’s not like anyone is screaming for more of the actual stuff these days. Rig and pipeline contracts can also be renegotiated (an order from the Texas Railroad Commission could have helped on that front, but still). And the difficulty of going into hibernation must be set against the implacable demands of low oil prices.

    2 votes