Nov 25, 2018 at 8:19AM

Oil Stocks: 1 Oil Exec Thinks Shale Will Surge in 2019 (Again)

Based on conversations with clients, Halliburton's CEO thinks that 2019 will be another incredible year for oil and gas in North America

North American shale drilling has pretty much exceeded everyone's expectations. What was once a token production source has now become the dominant growth driver of the oil and gas industry. U.S. oil production has more than doubled from its lows about a decade ago to the highest production levels on record. The fast pace of shale growth already sent oil prices into a tailspin from 2014 to 2016, and shale's ability to add 1.5 million barrels of oil per day of production over the past 12 months (!) is a large factor in why oil prices have hit a wall in recent weeks.

What is even more surprising than the growth of this industry is that we could see continued rates of growth in the future. In fact, the CEO of oil services company Halliburton (NYSE:HAL)seems to think that 2019 will be another banner year for the North American oil and gas industry. Here's why he thinks that's a possibility, why he could be wrong, and what investors should make of the situation...

...According to Halliburton CEO Jeff Miller, the North American shale industry will be ready to respond. Despite the challenges of finding space in pipelines to move product to market, Miller's statement during the company's most recent conference call suggests that 2019 will be another banner year for shale. 

I'm excited about 2019. The catalysts are there for a strong activity rebound. These catalysts are: customer budgets should reload with higher price decks and stronger hedge positions, improving operators' free cash flow and creating additional spending power; the rising DUC [drilled but uncompleted well] count will provide a substantial completions backlog ready to be worked down in 2019; off-take capacity will expand. Our industry is adaptive and creative. This manifests itself yet again in the announced conversion of pipelines in the Permian Basin and new processing capacity in the Marcellus...

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The buildout of new pipelines from the Permian guarantees a huge increase in oil output in 2019/2020.

The large amounts of associated gas will be a daunting market competitor for Appalachian Basin output as the gas is a mere byproduct from the more coveted oil.

That being said, there will be a massive enlargement of LNG demand  from new US plants due to several going into operation in 2019.

Looking ahead, you Appalachian Basin folks would be best served by an increase in demand from new crackers, the Mariner East 2 and 2X coming online, and your neighbors to the north/northeast waking up and allowing your hydrocarbons to be piped in.

Easily a century's worth of hydrocarbon bounty beneath your feet.


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