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Bakken Monitor – November 2017 Returns vs Growth: A Two-Speed LTO Industry?

North Dakota's oil production increased to 1.085 million b/d (+38,000 b/d m-o-m or 4%) in August, ahead of our forecast, as legacy well decline rates flattened. We see legacy well decline rates returning to historic averages in the coming months, flattening production growth. If legacy well decline rates remain elevated, however, production could exceed 1.1 million b/d for the first time since March 2016 as soon as September's data. Our 2017 average US LTO production forecast remains unchanged. As 3Q 2017 quarterly earnings season begins, companies are increasingly dividing into those focussed on returns and those focussed on production growth. We argue that this could be the beginning of a period of extensive consolidation in US LTO, with a more attenuated production growth the eventual outcome....

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