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Promising future for US shale

The tide is turning, slowly, for America’s beleaguered shale industry

The modest oil-price recovery has brought a shift in perspective in America's tight oil industry. The doom and gloom from early 2016 has given way to a cautious optimism that, for shale drillers, the worst is over. Rigs that were laid up for months due to a lack of work are slowly being fired up again. Output from the major shale plays is down a whopping 0.7m barrels a day, or 15%, from the peak in March 2015, to 3.93m b/d. But it is likely at or near the bottom, barring another steep drop in crude prices. As recently as May, every day brought news of a new bankruptcy. And yet the sector has backed away from the brink after five straight months of $40-plus crude prices. After cutting budget

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