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Fleeting OPEC-Shale Détente Exposes Wildcat Roots of U.S. Oil

  • Texas regulators, drillers split over wisdom of imposing caps
  • Proponent of limits in Texas fields says industry’s at risk
An oil well near Crane, Texas

An oil well near Crane, Texas

Photographer: Bloomberg/Bloomberg
Updated on

Prospects of a rare détente between OPEC and the biggest U.S. oil state faded as quickly as they rose as Texas regulators and explorers clashed over a proposal to cap crude output for the first time in almost 50 years.

Just hours after one of the most powerful officials in Texas oil landed a rare invitation to OPEC’s inner sanctum in June, prospects for an accord between the historically antagonistic crude powers began to unravel. The rapid crumbling shed light on the independent streak that has long run through wildcat Texan explorers and the laissez-faire predilections of the state’s political caste -- and their shared antipathy for centralized decision-making.