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US Shale Could Erase Debt by 2024, Freeing Up Cash for Gas Pivot

  • Industry to make record $200 billion this year: Deloitte
  • Decade of shale losses wiped out in just three years

US shale producers are on course to make nearly $200 billion this year, enough to make the industry debt-free by 2024 and potentially fund a pivot toward more natural gas production, according to Deloitte LLP. 

High oil prices and disciplined capital spending mean American frackers are on course for their most profitable year on record, part of a global trend that will see the oil and gas industry generate a record $1.4 trillion of free cash flow, Deloitte said in a report. After paying down debt and rewarding shareholders, US producers will likely focus more on natural gas production due to high demand and prices around the world.