"Growth Based On Debt Is Unsustainable, Artificial"

 Put a # sign in front of anything to do with shale oil, or the area in which it is produced, like #permian, or #bakken, and you will find a litany of everything-is-awesome dung heap that defies logic: America is now the swing oil producer in the world oil order, we are on our way to energy independence, we won the race, we're No. 1, we kicked OPEC's ass, OPEC and Russia are scared to death of frac'ing...we're at 10.5 MMBOPD in America going to 11.5MM BOPD and we will dominate the world with "limitless supplies" of light tight oil exports for decades to come.  

 

But as you read that stuff never, I repeat, NEVER, will the subject of shale oil (un)profitability, or its massive amount of accumulated debt, come up. Not a word. It is though that part of the equation does not exist in the #shale world. Between $260B and $300B of long term debt (Thompson Reuters) is a shit pot of money, man. The US shale oil industry owes more money that the total national debts of Venezuela and Saudi Arabia combined. [1] [2]

 

Forget all the breakeven, internal rate of return, EBITDA dookey the shale industry uses all the time and follow my simple arithmetic. Using a gross well head oil price of $60 per barrel, deduct $4.50 for production and property tax, $13.00 for royalty burdens, $8.00 for market deductions, $3.00 for corporate overhead, $3.00 for interest expense on long term debt and $9.00 per incremental BO for lift costs and one gets $20.50 per BO. That is essentially "take home pay." Divide that by say, $280 billion of long term debt and the US shale oil industry has to produce, starting tomorrow morning, over 12-13 billion MORE barrels of oil just to pay its debt back. Just to get back to even. If you don't like my arithmetic, or want to add a little gas revenue (but not too much!); go ahead. Knock off a couple of billion barrels. Whatever it is, its about 3-5 billion MORE barrels of oil than it has already produced in the decade the US shale oil industry has been in business.

 

So, Senior Barroso's quote is very applicable to the shale oil phenomena in America. The so called "revolution" that occurred starting a decade ago, that is based almost entirely on credit/debt, is artificial. Its benefits to employment throughout America, and to consumers, has been spectacular but after 10 YEARS (!) and lots of plus $90 barrels of oil (!!)...it has not even been paid for yet.

 

That #sucks.

 

 

 

 

 

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/29/business/dealbook/the-coming-mess-in-venezuelan-debt.html

[2] https://hanke.io/debtclock/saudi-arabia/

 

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