An oil rig in Texas' Permian Basin.


Shale-Oil Companies Give the Saudis a Texas Surprise

Outifts like Dallas' Pioneer Natural Resources have been more resilient than OPEC expected.

When the bottom began falling out of oil prices in 2014, one theory for the slide was that Saudi Arabia and OPEC had plotted to sabotage the U.S. shale-oil industry, whose success had been eating into OPEC’s profits. The plummeting prices did do considerable damage to producers in Texas (and elsewhere), resulting in job losses, dozens of bankruptcies, and slower growth.

However, this article in The Telegraph of London argues that the U.S. industry has been much more resilient than the pesky Saudis expected. Instead of throwing in the towel, companies like Dallas’ Pioneer Natural Resources have actually boosted their production by slashing costs and becoming more agile. Now, 20 months into the plot, the Telegraph concludes, the Saudis and OPEC have “failed to break the back of the U.S. shale industry.”