U.S. Shale-Oil Surge to Continue Amid Price Slump: IEA

The U.S. shale boom does not appear to be slowing in response to the oil-price slump, with the country’s output of petroleum liquids rising above 12 million barrels a day for the first time, according to the International Energy Agency.

U.S. production of crude oil, condensate and natural gas liquids climbed to 12.2 million barrels a day last month, the Paris-based energy adviser said today in its monthly oil market report. That indicates many producers are able to continue pumping in the short term even after West Texas Intermediate, the regional benchmark, fell 12 percent last month, the IEA said.

“Production growth shows few signs of abating,” the agency said. “Efficiency gains in light, tight oil production have been constant, and price pressures would only provide more impetus for producers to cut costs further.”

Oil has collapsed into a bear market as leading members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries resisted calls to cut production and instead reduced export prices to the U.S., where crude output has climbed to the highest level in three decades.

“While some companies are rethinking big-ticket projects from Canada to Angola, delays or spending cuts would affect the longer-term supply outlook rather than short-term,” the IEA said. U.S. light, tight oil output advanced by 100,000 barrels a day to 3.9 million last month, it said.

Most oil production in the Bakken shale formation remains profitable at or below $42 a barrel, the IEA said, citing a report from the State of North Dakota. Bakken oil traded at an average price of $77.63 a barrel in October, it said.

U.S. crude oil production climbed 1 percent to 9.06 million barrels a day last week, exceeding 9 million for the first time in more than 30 years, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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