The price of crude oil may have crashed since the highs of 2014, but this has not prevented shale oil exploration and production companies from continuing to prove themselves to be consummate innovators. The technology of fracking continues to be enhanced, expanded and optimized.

Increased efficiency and, therefore, reduced costs and higher returns are, now, more important than ever. Innovation remains the name of the game: clusters per stage are being increased and both the concentrations of proppants, i.e. sand or ceramic materials, and the chemistry of fluids continue to be optimized. Not only is the use of higher pressures proving promising, but so, too, are such innovations as dissolvable frac plugs and proppants themselves.

Whether in methods or materials, innovation rules in the world of unconventional shale oil production.

Magnum Vanishing Plug™

Source: Magnum Oil Tools International

About the Author:
Mr. Reynolds joined VanEck in 2005 as senior analyst focusing on energy, and currently serves as co-portfolio manager of Van Eck's natural resources strategies. Prior to joining Van Eck, he was employed at Petrie Parkman & Co. as an energy analyst covering U.S. oil and gas exploration and production companies. From 1991 to 2001, Mr. Reynolds covered North American, European and global energy companies out of New York, Australia and London with Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, and Credit Suisse First Boston. Prior to his career in finance, Mr. Reynolds worked at Tenneco Oil Company from 1987 to 1989 as an exploration geologist.

Mr. Reynolds received a bachelor's degree in engineering from Cornell University in 1985, a master's degree in petroleum geology from the University of Texas, Austin in 1987 (Phi Kappa Phi), and an MBA in finance from the Columbia Business School in 1991 (Beta Gamma Sigma). In 2000, he was chosen as The Wall Street Journal's «Best on the Street» for E&P stock selection, and was recognized as «Best Up and Comer», E&P Sector, for Institutional Investor magazine's 1999 All-America Research Poll. Mr. Reynolds has also authored several technical geology articles published in periodicals such as the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

The article above is an opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of MV Index Solutions or its affiliates.