Shale Oil Revolution Spreads to the ‘Majors’

The Story:

The giant global oil companies, the so-called ‘Majors’ such as Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron, have overcome their reluctance to get involved in shale oil, and consequences could transform the economics of energy.

Recent History: 

Peripheral industry players pioneered the technologies involved in getting natural gas or oil out of shale in the early years of this millennium — independent “exploration and production” (E&P) companies like Mitchell Energy or Brigham Resources. They also took political fire as “fracking” became a contentious issue.

Now the Majors are entering the field. Shell, for example, has launched an initiative called iShale, bringing a new level of automation and data analysis to the exploration of once unlikely source rock.

The Thing to Know:

Many forecasters have lately become bullish about crude oil prices, because OPEC countries have shown discipline in withholding supply. An increase in prices will make once-peripheral geology, in non-OPEC countries, more attractive.

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