"Oil and gas producers might have a harder time breaking even in shale plays containing federally controlled land, but that may have little to do with the regulatory and permitting burdens associated with extracting hydrocarbons from public acreage, energy researchers say.
In the oil and gas sphere, a break-even price refers to the sum of money an operator must collect in order to recoup production costs. The calculation — a critical consideration in nearly any business transaction — helps extraction firms decide whether to sink a well in the first place.
Generally speaking, break-even prices should be lower than the price of a barrel of oil in order to spur industry interest.
"For the most part, Lower 48 production comes from private fee lands. On public lands, activity has not been as high," said Clay Lightfoot, upstream research manager at Wood Mackenzie. "You could argue that's because of the federal permitting process, but I don't think that's really the case.""
Pamela King reports for EnergyWire August 25, 2017.