Three years after causing an oil-price crash, the shale boom may not be enough to meet rising global demand because the industry has cut back so sharply on higher-risk mega-projects.
Discoveries of new reserves this year were the fewest on record and replaced just 11 percent of what was produced, according to a Dec. 21 report by consultant Rystad Energy. While shale wells are creating a glut now, without more investment in bigger, conventional supply, the world may see output deficits as soon as 2019, according to Canadian producer Suncor Energy Inc.
“Tight rock is not going to solve the global supply-demand issue,” said Adam Waterous, chief executive officer at the Calgary-based Waterous Energy Fund, which invests as much as C$400 million ($265 million). “Its going to take a long time for those mega-projects to come back on.”
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