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Letter from Houston: Lower 48 outlook strengthening

Climbing commodity prices and rampant drilling activity are lifting shale production guidance

The US onshore industry received a shot in the arm this year with oil markets remaining close to the $80/bl mark, driven by expectations of stable demand growth and economic activity steadily ramping up around the world. The horizontal oil rig count is up by nearly 130pc from a year earlier, and current prices make drilling economic across most onshore regions. While the top-producing Permian basin remains the most active play by far, south Texas’ Eagle Ford, the Bakken, the DJ and Powder River basin and other positions have all seen a steady clip of expansion, boosting their contribution to the country’s onshore operations. The number of active counties (counties with at least one horizon

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