Strengthening shale portfolios: intrepid new play entry in the Americas
A lack of cash flow diversification and uncertainty around capital efficiency in the 2030s are increasing investors’ risk perception of some US E&Ps. Will some shale pure plays still be focused on the Permian in a decade but wholly concentrated on Tier 3 acreage? Capturing fresh resource isn’t presented as the most critical issue for tight oil today – sustaining shareholder distribution is – but operators with long-term strategies should consider planning for diminishing inventory much sooner. For US shale, that’s challenging. The lack of exploration, inventory downgrades, and risk of thesis drift by considering moves to new resource themes like non-op deepwater point to new play entry as a logical consideration. We outline five comparisons and considerations for stakeholders looking at creative shale portfolio opportunities in Canada and Argentina, which both hold established unconventional projects.