As oil prices appear to be settling at slightly lower prices than the hopeful peak periods achieved in 2018, industry players are bearing down on making the economics of plays work without a boom cycle.

Research and consulting firm Rystad Energy gave a look at top performers among oil and gas producers as well as most the lucrative acreage positions in U.S. shale plays. Those breakeven prices, tweaked by seasoned shale drillers, have responded.

Operators in the U.S. shale basins continue to prove they can make the economics work with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices in more moderate ranges. In fact, over the past two years, breakeven prices on the best acreage generally ranged between $30 to $40 per barrel WTI, with the top-notch acreage generating returns at below $20, according to Rystad.

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