David Meats | Morningstar, Inc
The United States has rapidly become the critical source of incremental supply for global oil markets, and growth has come overwhelmingly from unconventionals. Until recently shale producers in the brand-name shale plays (including the Permian Basin, the Bakken, and the Eagle Ford) were incentivized to capitalize on stellar returns made possible by oil prices seemingly entrenched near $100/bbl. Activity was spurred further by technological enhancements and the initial shift toward batch-mode drilling utilizing multi-well pads, both of which drove down costs for operating companies and nudged returns even higher.
In The Headlines
Kurlan Barbosa | Enrema LLC
Sweet crude has never tasted so sour. With global layoffs exceeding 100,000 jobs and rising, and oil trading at $50/bbl, many people in the oil industry are wondering, when will we see an end to another oil depression?
It all started in 2008, with the development of advanced techniques of hydraulic fracturing and the perfection of horizontal drilling. This allowed the United States, the world’s biggest importer of oil at the time, to tap into plays that were previously uneconomical, mainly shales. This forward step increased U.S. oil production by over 70% and has reduced oil import from OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) by 50%.
Topic of Discussion
Chuck Behm | Meridium
In a 2014 global survey, 44 percent of oil and gas companies in the Americas said a skills shortage is the biggest threat to their industry — higher than capital costs, labor costs or even economic stability concerns. This is largely related to training issues, with many companies citing the lack of quality candidates and skilled employees available to train them. As more veteran employees retire, this challenge will only grow. Adding to that concern, according to a 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, 80 percent of Millennials expect to change jobs every three years.