US Shale Drillers Still Not Out Of The Woods, Execs Say

Law360 (March 2, 2021, 8:22 PM EST) -- U.S. shale industry executives on Tuesday said that the recent oil price recovery should not change the current operating mantra for drillers: less focus on growing, more focus on throwing cash back to investors.

Oil prices have climbed to approximately $60 a barrel after plunging to historic depths last year amid the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet capital and debt markets remain largely closed to drillers, while investors are demanding steady cash flow after years of acquiring shale properties that produced minimal returns.

And leaders of two of the major players in U.S. shale — ConocoPhillips Co. and Pioneer Natural...

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