Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Oil market calling end to US tight oil (shale fracking)

There was an interesting article today on an oil trader betting that the US tight oil (shale fracking) boom will end soon.

The oil market appears to supports this thesis.

The front of the oil curve continues to sell off, while the back end (January 2015 onwards) is rallying.

Short term weakness in oil futures is likely to continue for balance of this year due to the bump up in US oil supply. However, despite this short term price weakness, longer term the market is saying that this new supply will be insufficient.

Production of $15 oil began to decline back in 2005. Oil producers since 2005 have shifted up the supply cost curve in order to produce more oil.  Fracking, Canadian oil sands and ultra deep offshore are all $50+ per barrel sources that had to be tapped to make up for the decline of $15 oil.  These three sources are very difficult to scale quickly due to cost and complexity and the market is telling us that they may not add enough supply to offset the decline in global $15 oil production.
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