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.
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