Private Drillers Are Hitting Their Limits

by | Sep 19, 2022 | Business

Dozens of small drillers helped fuel a resurgence in the busiest U.S. oil patch over the past two years. But they tapped many of their best drilling spots, and will have to ease their rapid pace of drilling as their inventory shrinks, analysts and executives say.Private oil companies in the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico emerged from the pandemic-induced oil downturn last year as a growth engine for U.S. shale, now running almost half of the working drilling rigs there, up from a quarter before the pandemic. Their publicly traded rivals are restrained by shareholders pushing for conservative spending and using leftover cash to pay investors and reduce debt.

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