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OPEC, US Oil Firms Expect Subdued Shale Rebound Even as Crude Prices Rise

LONDON/HOUSTON—OPEC and U.S. oil companies see a limited rebound in shale oil supply this year as top U.S. producers freeze output despite rising prices, a decision that would help OPEC and its allies. OPEC this month cut its 2021 forecast for U.S. tight crude, another term for shale, and expects production to decline by 140,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 7.16 million bpd. The U.S. government expects shale output in March to fall about 78,000 bpd to 7.5 million bpd and also sees an annual drop. The OPEC forecast preceded the freezing weather in Texas, home to 40 percent of U.S. output, that has shut wells and curbed demand by regional oil refineries. The lack of a shale rebound could make it easier for OPEC and its allies to manage the market, according to OPEC sources. “This should be the case,” said one of the OPEC sources, who declined to …

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