HOUSTON—U.S. shale oil and gas production could grow to about 27 million barrels, accounting for 25% of the global market share through the 2030s, according to the CEO of Rystad Energy.

If financial barriers were removed, producers could push the number higher, Jarand Rystad, founder of the energy consultancy firm, told attendees of a recent forum. This is despite cash flow returns being negative—massively negative.

“It’s a long, long growth story and of course, that growth story requires a lot of cash,” Rystad said, later pointing out how shale developments essentially killed talk of Arctic exploration in the U.S. and impacted expectations for growth offshore.

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