Market Insider

CNBC Survey: Oil prices seen below breakeven for frackers

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Oil experts forecast crude prices will decline this fall to levels where many shale producers could be unable to make money, and some see prices staying very low through the end of the year, according to a new CNBC Oil Survey.

The analysts and traders surveyed were far gloomier in their outlook for U.S. crude prices than they were just a few months ago, with a majority now forecasting prices for West Texas Intermediate will drop to between $30 and $40 per barrel this fall and stay low into the end of the year.

The survey also found that 43 percent see a break-even price for the U.S. shale industry of $45 to $55 per barrel, well below where many expect prices in the next couple of months.

Another 24 percent estimated the level where drillers make money is even higher - at $55 to $65 per barrel. But 20 percent see break-even prices at $45 or less and half of those see them below $35 per barrel.