The US Oilfield Is Losing Focus On Pre-Existing Conditions. And It Can’t Afford To. [Charts Of The Day]

Shale E&P and service are tough businesses in the best of times. Even absent any disruptive outside forces, there are always pressing technical and business problems to solve – problems that require capital and an intently focused talent pool.

Since Infill Thinking’s inception nearly four years ago, we’ve covered the HUGE industrial progress made on many of the critical internal structural challenges facing this great industry’s profitability, perception, and longevity.

Some of these challenges and transition issues include parent-child well interference, logistical constraints, produced water, ESG, e-frac, and frac sand / logistics optimization.

Here in 2020, industry’s progress on many of these fronts has gone sadly silent – the innovation engine is no longer firing on all cylinders.

The immediacy of the twin 800-pound gorillas in the oilfield today (the oil price crash and the coronavirus pandemic’s economic devastation) overshadow all other challenges.

Today’s oilfield leadership has a singular focus: survive the 2020 crisis. And corporate survival instincts have evoked the most brutal upstream downturn we have ever witnessed. Stacking, shut-in, and shock and awe cost reduction strategies are on the front burner, while the industry’s pre-existing conditions have been pushed to the back.

Yesterday’s structural struggles may be forgotten, they may be dormant, but they are certainly not gone. They’ll be back next cycle, in some cases back with a vengeance. And although the mainstream industry might have to put them on hold, it cannot afford to ignore them.

Critical E&P Conversations Are Being Interrupted

For data-driven context on the conversation interruption from the pandemic and oil price crash, we’ve assembled the following series of charts….

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