Riyadh — The growth in U.S. shale oil production will slow to 600,000 to 700,000 barrels per day in 2020 and to 200,000 bpd in 2021, the chief executive of U.S. oilfield services giant Schlumberger said on Tuesday.
U.S. shale output has surged over the past three years to some 13 million barrels per day, making the country the world’s biggest producer of crude oil.
But lower oil prices and investor demand for higher returns have forced U.S. shale producers to scale back their investment and plans to boost production.
“Next year it will be 200,000 barrels per day,” Olivier Le Peuch told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Riyadh, adding that was his estimate for now.
U.S. shale growth should then plateau and will not return to the expansion of the past three to five years unless new technology to lower costs attracts another wave of investment, he said earlier in a panel discussion at the conference.
“Shale production growth will go to a new normal … unless technology helps us crack the code,” he said.
Schlumberger has played a role in developing fracking in Saudi Arabia and will be involved in the Gulf kingdom’s development of its Jafurah shale gas field, he said.
Last week, Saudi Aramco said it had received regulatory approval to develop the Jafurah non-associated gas field with production expected to start in early 2024.
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