Research press release


Nature Energy

US shale investment based on uncertain futures



今回Esmail AnsariとRobert Kaufmannは、さまざまな要因の中で、特に原油価格の変化がタイトオイル層やタイトガス層における新たな掘削装置の導入にどのような影響を及ぼすか調べた。その結果、採算価格は1バレル当たり約50ドルであることが分かった。しかし、著者たちは、価格がこの採算価格より高くなっても低くなっても、掘削装置を借りるかの決定に対する価格変動の影響は小さくなることを指摘している。彼らは、投資家が探査と開発の計画を立てるためには日々の価格ではなく先物契約(合意した価格で後日引き渡す約束)を使っていて、新しい掘削装置の生産性が掘削活動と石油価格の両方に影響を及ぼすと結論付けている。

The tight oil and gas exploration industry may be making investment decisions based on futures contracts instead of the more volatile day-to-day prices, suggests a paper published online this week in Nature Energy. These findings may explain why a volatile oil market failed to stop US oil and gas resurgence in 2000s.

Tight oil and gas exploration involves horizontal drilling in tight geological, or “shale”, formations. Although US shale production continues to attract investments, analysts have questioned the profitability of hydraulic drilling at oil prices below US $60 per barrel. An accurate break-even price for tight oil and gas has been difficult to estimate because of the lack of available cost data.

Esmail Ansari and Robert Kaufmann studied how changes in crude oil price, among other factors, affect the installation of new rigs in tight oil and gas formations. They found the break-even price to be around US $50 per barrel. However, the authors note that the effect of price volatility on decisions to rent rigs declines as prices move above or below this break-even price. They conclude that investors use futures contracts - which promise delivery on later dates at agreed prices - instead of day-to-day prices to plan exploration and development, and new rig productivity affects both drilling activity and oil prices.

doi: 10.1038/s41560-019-0350-1


メールマガジンリストの「Nature 関連誌今週のハイライト」にチェックをいれていただきますと、毎週各ジャーナルからの最新の「注目のハイライト」をまとめて皆様にお届けいたします。