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Permian leads the shale charge

Output is creeping up in the US but still faces a tough task in rebounding to pre-Covid levels

Shale production in the Lower 48 US states is poised to recover significantly in 2021, buoyed by WTI above $50/bl and rising energy demand. But set against cautious capex, limited well completions and regulatory headwinds, crude output will still fall considerably short of pre-Covid volumes and could be pushed further off course if a number of factors coalesce to bring more non-US barrels to the market or dent post-Covid energy demand. The Permian basin will be the key driver of US shale production and the only region likely to approach full recovery. The basin faced steep output declines last year—the highest in absolute terms but among the lowest proportionally, highlighting its importanc



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