top of page

Visualizing America's Shale Oil Future

This is what America's shale oil future would look like if no more shale oil wells were drilled (after July 2017). This visualization is based on actual decline rates from realized production data filed with various regulatory agencies from over 76,000 shale oil wells drilled in America, 2003 to 7.2017.

So what, you say? America will keep drilling shale oil wells regardless of (un)profitability, as long as there is money to print, and borrow, or debt maturities to kick further down the road. Right?

We better hope so. At least until Mother Nature has Her say. America's shale basins are already getting gassier and there are no vacancy signs popping up in core, sweet spots in the Bakken and Eagle Ford.

I don't see a whole lot of stuff here to be picking fights with OPEC about $70 oil, do you? I look at this graphic and my first thought is, holy shit...that stuff declines like an anchor dropped in the open sea; if that represents America's hydrocarbon future we better hope like hell there are 500,000 more shale wells to drill out there somewhere, and 5 trillion dollars to drill them with, or we're going to be in deep doo-doo in another 4-6 years.

For more on this eye opener, and the ability to use Enno's interactive tools on his neato burrito graphics, please see

bottom of page