Why Are We Racing?
I don't think that Saudi Arabia and Russia even realize they are in a "foot race" with the United States to see who can achieve maximum daily oil production rates first. The IEA, on the other hand, likes America's chances to win the race by 2019 and now the MSM is literally drooling on itself about what it imagines is the Oil Olympics and another gold medal for the USA.
Truth be known, Russia, the KSA and the rest of OPEC all have computers, and smart folks that can use them, and know that the shale oil phenomena is unprofitable as hell. They have all the shale oil industry's debt added up and know that fat boys don't make good sprinters. They know what it costs to service all that debt and when those debts maturities are due. They also know, betcha, that the handful of counties in each of the three largest shale basins in America that account for all this massive LTO production growth... are getting literally hammered with new wells, wells that even the Society of Petroleum Engineers are getting worried about. It would not surprise me at all for Russia and OPEC to intentionally be lagging behind, letting America, with only 38 billion barrels of proven reserves (EIA AEO2017), have the lead in this imaginary race. $60-65 dollars per barrel is just about right, too. Then in about five years the United States drops out completely, totally winded. Spent.
America needs new track coaches. Our team, with all its amazing athletic ability, should focus less on sprints... and more on running marathons.