Frenemies: OPEC finds US shale oil an intractable problem

A surge in global oil demand has so far absorbed the extra US shale production, limiting the impact on prices. But for OPEC, shale remains as intractable as in the past.

Photo: Bloomberg

In front of the Petroleum Club of Midland, Texas – capital of the booming Permian shale region – an electronic display flashes two crucial pieces of information: the oil price and the number of drilling rigs.

For the past year, both figures have been climbing as OPEC oil production cuts led to higher prices, spurring added drilling activity in the US.

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