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How resilient has US shale become?

Genuine gains have been made, but the industry will need further technological breakthroughs to overcome the geology

Discussions about the US shale industry's resilience through the oil price downturn and swift recovery inevitably turn to drillers' ability to innovate their way to lower breakeven prices—a line of argument often pushed by producers themselves. But does this hold up to scrutiny and are the gains made through the downturn sustainable? The industry has taken a number of measures in the face of lower oil prices, some of which are genuine breakthroughs, but many will see their effects fade or dissipate altogether with higher oil prices. For instance, improved geosteering, which allows operators to drill further in less time, will bring lasting improvement to the shale patch. Drilling longer la



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