US Shale, OPEC in No Rush to Resume Oil Price War

While high prices should boost profits for OPEC and U.S. shale producers alike, drillers fear expensive oil could also sap demand, especially with governments pushing plans to ramp up alternative energy.

Liz Hampton, Reuters

U.S. shale producers and OPEC, who not long ago were waging a price war, this week found themselves on similar sides as oil prices have surged well above $100/bbl: in no rush to rapidly boost production.

Less than a decade ago, OPEC was flooding the market with oil in a bid to drive out U.S. producers, who were enjoying surging production as improvements in hydraulic fracturing brought on the so-called “shale boom.”

But on the first night of CERAWeek by S&P Global on March 7, at an oil conference in Houston, both sides gathered in a private room at a restaurant and U.S. producers presented OPEC Secretary-general Mohammad Barkindo with a bottle labeled “Genuine Barnett Shale”—from the oil field that launched the shale revolution.

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