Skip to main content

Shale companies see rising cash flows, chance to pay off debt

January 28, 2021


A sustained rise in global oil prices has U.S. shale producers pondering something few expected to be considering after last year’s tumble: how to allocate rising cash flows among new production, dividends and stock buybacks.

U.S. shale producers will generate about $73.6 billion in cash from operations this year, up nearly a third over last year, according to data firm Rystad Energy, based on oil selling for $50 a barrel. 

In the third quarter, a group of 33 U.S. shale producers generated $2.6 billion in free cash flow – the group’s strongest performance since the start of the fracking boom. It came as they cut spending to the lowest in a decade, according to data from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

[Jennifer Hiller]

More: U.S. shale ponders the unexpected: what to do with coming cash windfall?

Join our newsletter

Keep up to date with all the latest from IEEFA