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It'll Take Oil Above $50 for Shale Boom, Oil Sands to Pay Off

It'll Take Oil Above $50 for Shale Boom, Oil Sands to Pay Off

Shale drillers and oil sands producers have posted some healthy profits so far this year, but it’ll take oil consistently above $50 a barrel for their investments to pay off in the long run.

That’s the conclusion of a Moody’s Investors Service study of 37 exploration and production companies in the U.S. and Canada released Thursday. It’s also why legendary hedge fund manager Jim Chanos, who’s shorting shale driller Continental Resources Inc., says independent explorers have been a bad deal for shareholders.

Shale oil producers “are creatures of the capital markets,” Chanos told Bloomberg TV’s Julia Chatterley, Joe Weisenthal and Scarlet Fu. “Because the wells deplete so quickly, they constantly need to raise money to replace the assets.”