American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2018 - 49

Independents Leading Way
In U.S. Resource Plays,
Reshaping Global Markets
Editor's Note:
In an industry where success typically is measured by the barrel or
Mcf, U.S. independent oil and gas producers and operators are in a
league all their own. Thanks to independents pioneering first shale
gas and then tight oil, the United States is leading the world in crude
oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids reserves and production
growth. Between 2005 and 2017, U.S. Energy Information
Administration data show that domestic natural gas production
jumped by 49 percent and oil production soared by 80 percent.
A new frontier of oil and gas resources has been discovered in
America, and the industry will never look at geology the same. But as
a stark reminder that the business side of the oil and gas business is
measured by more than production growth alone, the industrywide
downturn from 2014-17 pressured operators to economize. It was a
race to the bottom of the breakevens, and once again, independents
responded admirably, slashing cost structures and improving
efficiencies to the point where shale gas and tight oil now rank among
the most affordable supplies on the planet.
From the giant Marcellus/Utica gas play to the oil-rich
Bakken/Three Forks, and from emerging stacked tight targets in the
Powder River and Greater Green River basins to the rich geologic
playground of the Permian superbasin, horizontal resource plays are
revolutionizing technology, supply curves and global markets. No
matter how one looks at it, U.S. independents-the masters of shale
gas and tight oil development-have put themselves and their nation
in a position of strength on the world's energy stage. But what comes
next for independent producers and operators? What does the nearterm future of lower-48 resource plays look like? What trends will
impact the business through 2020?

APRIL 2018 49



American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2018

Contents
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