In the second half of 2014, oil prices crashed.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell from around $US110 to a barrel to $US60, while West Texas Intermediate crude fell from around $US100 to $US50.
As the price of oil crashed, many wondered at what price oil projects would no longer be feasible.
This chart. via Citi’s Ed Morse, shows that most major drilling projects are still under their “cash cost” breakeven level, or the absolute minimum price at which a project can maintain operations (if not necessarily make money).
Clearly, there is some pressure in the oil space, as the number of US oil rigs in use has fallen 43% since its peak in October.
The problem yet to be resolved, Morse notes, is that while these projects stay open, and production keeps up, a lack of capacity could push prices lower and eventually force some of these projects to shut down.