[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the November 2021 issue of Oil and Gas Investor magazine.]

Musings from the field—meaning phone calls from the office, not the actual oil field of course.

First, the recent A&D Strategies and Opportunities Conference in Dallas was a salute to E&P capital discipline, particularly for oil makers. It should be noted that each congratulatory declaration seemed wrapped in a certain subtext: Step away from the drill, and keep your hands up.

How fleeting will E&P restraint be? Which of the large public companies will go rogue as wells in every basin return to viability, meaning able to generate 100% returns, A&D professionals mused. Trying to untangle such riddles is about as easy as defusing a bomb using only Ikea-style instructions. Finding the red wire is not so easy in black and white.

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