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US independents stick to the script

Shale producers are cautiously eyeing Opec+ before lifting capex while substantially trimming hedging

Any expectations that booming oil and gas prices might prompt the US shale patch to accelerate drilling heading into 2022 have been largely dashed by the third-quarter results announcements of a swathe of independents. “This industry tried a market share war with Opec before and it did not work out,” says Kaes Van’t Hof, CFO at Texan independent Diamondback Energy. “Why do we not let Opec bring back their spare capacity, stay flat, and see what the future holds in 2023 and beyond?” The sentiment was shared by many independent operators, concerned that lingering economic volatility could still hamper global energy demand and that the Opec+ alliance could quickly renege on its supply pledge.

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