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Credit: Jeremy Sean Williams

Dropping oil prices may hit U.S. fracking firms hard

North American crude is expensive to pump, and the falling oil prices will only make production more difficult.  In the past four weeks, oil prices across the globe have fallen about eight percent.  The U.S. price per barrel closed at $85.77, the lowest it has been since December 2012.

According to a recent report by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., $90 per barrel and below will affect hydraulic fracturing projects in the U.S.  Many producers break even around $80 to $85 per barrel.

Related: More efficient fracking means more oil and natural gas

The first drillers to be affected by the declining crude oil prices will be those in the outskirts of North Dakota’s Bakken Shale, according to Paul Sankey, an energy analyst with Wolfe Research LLC. Sankey said if prices drop another $4 to $5 per barrel companies will be forced to cut back on their capital budgets.  Shares for Continental Resources Inc. and Whiting Petroleum Corp., both focused in the Bakken, fell by more the five percent on Thursday.

Although oil prices are falling, not all U.S. oil producers have to be worried.  The Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin in Texas will still remain valuable to drillers. According to an analysis done by Robert W. Baird & Co., if prices fell to $53 per barrel certain areas in the Eagle Ford would still be profitable.

Read the full article by The Wall Street Journal here.


  1. Sucks. Big mistake. If we have a bad winter. Puts us beside. Forgihn. Country’s.

  2. They may slow down for the mom and pop companies but for the bigger companies they probably won’t slow down.

  3. For those knocking down the oilfild please read and these are just some things so think about it……

  4. Ya of course they will slow down and hold out till the supply in storage gets used up. Price will go back up where they like it to make record profit every year. Simple the oil company control the flow and with that the prices.

  5. I don’t believe that is an oil well. Looks more like a EPA cleanup processing site.

  6. That’s why I got into production and out of completions/service… 2 winters fraced up there

  7. And who do you think is responsible for that? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not us…..

  8. Hey, if I could slow down corn production in order to raise the price back up, I’d do it too.

  9. Bryan the price of corn is like $8/bushel?

    • $8/bushel? Think you are about 2 years behind on your corn prices. December corn on the Chicago Board of Trade closed at $3.35. And farmers get to pay for their own rail transportation so knock off another dollar or so for that to. You’re only off by 60-75 percent.

  10. Good luck with that been there going on 3 years there is oil work all over they drop the wage people will go some place else people are not there because they like it I’m in Pa for a month. And my wage is the same and it’s much nicer cut our wage in North Dakota we will leave

  11. Starting to see signs of it

  12. I haven’t seen anyone park their wheels and drive horses and buggies so this dropping in prices most likely isn’t going to cause an incredible change. Nor has anyone given up any of the products listed on Maribell’s statement.

  13. Dropping oil prices…oh no people might be able to afford to drive to work again.

  14. Yeah, just like 08-10, wasn’t hardly anything being done up in the Bakken back then, 11 things heated up again

  15. I believe city leaders had a meeting not long ago with companies. Claiming there is going to be work for a long time yet. However if oil gets to 50 what happens to the small towns that have spent a huge amount of money

  16. You mean the price might drop to where takes week not days for well to pay for itself?

  17. So the Europeans can buy up American oil Cheap like they did with Amoco, SOHIO, ARCO, and then they cAn raise prices back up for Americans! NO EXPORT!

  18. Dose any one think MT is ever going to let more drilling company’s in eastern Montana?????

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