Next Article in Journal
Examining Trust and Risk in Mobile Money Acceptance in Uganda
Previous Article in Journal
The Catalan Economy towards the New European Energy Policy: Through Accounting of Greenhouse Emission Multipliers
Article Menu
Issue 12 (December) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2232;

Analyzing the Learning Path of US Shale Players by Using the Learning Curve Method

Department of Energy Resources Engineering, Inha University, 100 Inharo, Nam-gu, Incheon 22212, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 25 November 2017 / Accepted: 26 November 2017 / Published: 3 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Full-Text   |   PDF [939 KB, uploaded 3 December 2017]   |  


The US shale exploration and production (E&P) industry has grown since 2007 due to the development of new techniques such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. As a result, the share of shale gas in the US natural gas production is almost 50%, and the share of tight oil in the US crude oil production is almost 52%. Even though oil and gas prices decreased sharply in 2014, the production amounts of shale gas and tight oil increased between 2014 and 2015. We show that many players in the US shale E&P industry succeeded in decreasing their production costs to maintain their business activity and production. However, most of the companies in the US petroleum E&P industry incurred losses in 2015 and 2016. Furthermore, crude oil and natural gas prices could not rebound to their 2015 price levels. Therefore, many companies in the US petroleum E&P industry need to increase their productivity to overcome the low commodity prices situation. Hence, to test the change in their productivity and analyze their ability to survive in the petroleum industry, this study calculates the learning rate using the US shale E&P players’ annual report data from 2008 to 2016. The result of the calculation is that the long-term learning rate is 1.87% and the short-term learning rate is 3.16%. This indicates a change in the technological development trend. View Full-Text
Keywords: learning rate; US shale; E&P industry; shale gas; tight oil; productivity learning rate; US shale; E&P industry; shale gas; tight oil; productivity

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Kim, J.-H.; Lee, Y.-G. Analyzing the Learning Path of US Shale Players by Using the Learning Curve Method. Sustainability 2017, 9, 2232.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top