The Hill - Oil price drop threatens US fracking boom

March 27, 2020 – The Hill

Oil price drop threatens US fracking boom


Plummeting oil prices caused by a Saudi-Russian feud and the coronavirus outbreak may lead to a decline in fracking, the controversial practice that has fueled the domestic energy revolution in the U.S.

Fracking, which involves blasting water and other chemicals deep within the ground to lift oil out of rock crevices, is more expensive than using a traditional oil derrick, making U.S. producers more sensitive to dropping prices…

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…After cutting rigs, producers might eventually look at slowing production.

Producers could “shut in” wells, essentially capping them to pause production, a move that risks damaging the lifetime production of the well but allows them to reopen once prices rise.

But experts disagree on just how likely that is to happen.

Rusty Braziel, CEO of energy analysis company RBN Energy, said shut-ins are rare and unlikely to happen right away.

“Now producers are only going to be focused on the very best sweet spots they've got,” he said. “If you turn wells off, you get nothing, and right now companies need the money.”