US Shale’s threat to North Sea oil profits fades further as Total snubs it


I’ve already written several pieces on the limited, medium to long-term, risks posed by US shale to North Sea oil prices. In particular, its future is cursed by global sand shortages and safety fears with the latter holding back investors wary of insurance claims. See, for example:

The Scottish Third Wave of Oil Productivity is built on solid foundations but those of the Shale Oil Industry are built on sand and on sand that is disappearing fast

Scottish Oil predicted to rise to at least $60 per barrel by end of 2017 as fracked shale oil faces safety crisis

Also, the prospects for UK shale production are even less rosy due to geological constraints. See:

Why the UK’s geology means fracking will never come to Scotland and should never have been allowed in England because it’s 55 000 000 years too late!

Now French energy giant, Total, who developed the massive gas field west of Shetland which could heat every house in Scotland and more, have delivered a further blow to shale’s future prospects by refusing to invest in it on the basis of, as far as we know, cost. Apparently, US shale requires investment based on ‘assumptions’ of around $80 per barrel while North Sea crude deals require less than $55 per barrel.


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