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Has U.S. Shale Wrecked Its Own Recovery?

Operational improvements in shale and non-shale oil drilling, on top of lower expenses for oilfield services and access to pipeline capacity, have driven down the costs of producing the fossil fuel since the 2014 market crash. But the increase in output has forced barrel prices into a deeper bearish market, causing further damage to corporate bottom lines.

This trend is mapped clearly in the MSCI’s World Energy Index, which measures the progress of large and medium sized companies in 23 oil-producing countries on a quarterly basis. ExxonMobil, Chevron, Total, Royal Dutch Shell, and British Petroleum are the five biggest players on the index, which includes 85 other majors. Together, they have lost $115 billion in market value since the beginning of April, Bloomberg reports, according to World Oil.

The loss pattern isn’t consistent across the board, though. Chevron and Exxon reported strong Q1 2017 figures, beating expert expectations. Chevron took in $2.3 billion in the first quarter of this year, compared to a loss of $725 million in the same period in 2016. Its...


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