Skip to content

Shale Profit Bonanza Frees Up Even More Cash to Reward Investors

  • Drillers’ debt burdens fall after another stellar quarter
  • Shale drillers repurchasing bonds, amassing cash amid windfall
Video player cover image
Pioneer Targeting 5% Production Growth in 2023: CEO

Shale drillers saw their debt burden fall further in the second quarter, signaling extra room for them to pay dividends, buy back shares or make acquisitions.

A metric commonly used to measure companies’ ability to pay down their borrowings has widely improved among oil and gas producers as they repurchase some bonds and pile up cash amid ballooning profits. Net debt reported by a group of independent drillers including ConocoPhillips and Pioneer Natural Resources Co. averaged less than 0.6 time their annual earnings before items such as interest and taxes in the second quarter, down from roughly 1.7 time a year earlier, Bloomberg data show.