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For the time being, the three largest producing regions of light, tight oil (LTO) in the United States – Eagle Ford, the Permian Basin and Bakken – are likely to be little affected by the declining oil prices. Though some Bakken producers appear to be mulling a cut to 2015 drilling (see p10), the core areas of these three basins have relatively low production costs, high yield and established infrastructure.
A MEES sounding of US experts suggests the breakeven price for these three remains well below current oil prices: between $45-50/B for Eagle Ford, $55-60/B for Permian and $40-50/B for Bakken. Mr Troner tells MEES: “One can say that an average of $60-70/B would allow established basins like these three to continue pumping but slow their incremental volume growth.”
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