The North American oil and gas industry’s main engine—unconventional shale—may be stressed as operators face diminishing resources that can be extracted economically at “conservative oil pricing,” said analysts from Simmons Energy, a division of Piper Jaffray.

Simmons senior research analysts, Kashy Harrison and Ryan M. Todd, issued a report March 13 based on reserve reports in quarterly filings from a number of E&P companies.

Out of the three main takeaways from their analysis, the most important was that unconventional shale is “showing signs of stress as 35% to 40% of the assessed E&Ps disclosed performance-related reserve writedowns.”

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