Having overcome some significant setbacks, the shale oil and gas boom is back in force. While OPEC made an impression on North American producers with its commitment to keeping prices low, they have returned to exploration and other activities with a vengeance. As many American and Canadian shale operations are now profitable even with petroleum prices below $50 per barrel, few experts believe that anything but continued optimism is in the offing. With a report given here detailing just what a difference shale production is making for so many, that is undoubtedly good news.
After all, the shale boom is turning out to be one of the most democratic and widely felt developments in the history of the industry. While the wildcatters of days past might occasionally have turned small investments and large stocks of resourcefulness into fortunes, oil has been for a long time since a game played mostly by far better established competitors. With some of the world’s largest corporations counting oil extraction as their primary focus, it has been some time since individuals and small-scale companies could realistically hope to build major presences of their own.
The shale boom has upset that longtime state of things in ways that have been felt directly and positively in many millions of lives. To begin with, as the report above notes, at least 12 million North American individuals now receive royalties from this style of fuel production. With some of the payments being enough to support entire families as they pursue education and other goals, a single royalty arrangement can turn a whole home’s situation around overnight.
It is also not necessary to own land to become involved. While some investors have experimented with conventional drilling opportunities in the past, shale is turning out to be much more amenable to the relatively casual, short-term arrangements that make more sense to most. With conventional petroleum drilling projects starting off with planned schedules of ten years or more, many investors have historically found such requirements forbidding. As shale extraction operations tend to wrap up within a few years of first breaking ground, however, they much more frequently make sense for investors who prefer not to tie their assets up for too long.