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Lack of drilling activity in the US is stalling full production recovery
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US shale upsurge put on hold

Domestic production has gradually crept up since the worst of the pandemic, but significant growth is unlikely to take place before 2023

The financial discipline of the US light-tight oil (LTO) industry has been impressive since the industry suffered a wave of bankruptcies and near-death experiences in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. US LTO production has begun to rise since bottoming out early this year, but this is not due to a major revival in drilling activity, despite the price of North American crude marker WTI rebounding in recent months into the $50-70/bl range—the kind of prices that powered the 2017-2019 output surge following Saudis Arabia’s failed 2014-16 oil price war (see Fig.1). At present, US LTO production is being pushed higher mainly by substantial productivity gains and completions of drilled-bu



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