HOUSTON—Anyone wanting to know what could be ahead for U.S. shale in 2020 should look at what has happened lately, according to analysts.

“Next year will be a lot like the last few quarters of this year,” Todd Bush, head of North American unconventionals for Westwood Global Energy Group, said while delivering the firm’s shale outlook at a recent event.

With the uncertainty of an election year, OPEC’s maneuvering and the direction of oil prices, the research consultancy forecasts drilling and completions activity will drop by 5% and 3%, respectively; a softening frac horsepower market; and a rebalancing of frac sand supply as demand rises by 12%, Bush said.

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