Mark Papa, a pioneer in the U.S. shale oil revolution, is warning that forecasts for booming U.S. production growth will leave industry watchers disappointed in the coming years as drillers burn through their best wells and tighten their purse strings.
"The impression of U.S. shale as the big bad wolf is perhaps a bit overstated," Papa told an audience at this year's CERAWeek by IHS Markit in Houston.
Papa's comments on Tuesday were a stark contrast to the tone of cautious optimism at the conference, where many executives claimed that data analytics and technology, like machine learning, will improve efficiency in the oil patch and fuel further gains.
His remarks also come on the heels of an International Energy Agency report on Monday that said the United States will account for most of the world's growth in oil supply in the coming years. American output has exceeded expectations, rising to an all-time high above 10 million barrels a day in November, and is seen potentially topping 11 million barrels a day this year.