The industry will be slowing down in 2020, that’s plain to see. It’s probably a good thing, although not an exciting situation that will generate splashy headlines; it may not get investors’ hearts to beat faster and open their wallets yet either. Third-quarter conference calls indicated prudence reigns among the E&Ps, and most people would say thank you and amen to that.

In most basins, the above-ground constraints of pipeline and gathering bottlenecks are coming to an end this year, so the E&P companies will have to rein in spending by their budget decisions as they plot their 2020 strategy, instead of due to bottlenecks. The go-go years of the early shale days have given way to a slo-mo pace: Keep production flat, or at the least, keep growth subdued and within cash flow.

That’s happening.

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