Oil development costs lower, but volume is still a question

The Lower 48 isn’t the only area where development costs are moving lower, but the mentality of the industry may be changing on production, analysis found.

By next year, total U.S. crude oil production could average more than 11 million barrels per day and most of that is from shale reservoirs in the Lower 48. Shale oil and gas development has been more resilient to relatively lower crude oil prices than initially expected and federal estimates on production have been revised steadily upward over the past few months.

Four years ago, sector consultant group Wood Mackenzie expected about half of the total volume in new production would come from the Lower 48. That’s now closer to 70 percent in favor of shale…


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