Hooray, oil is suddenly much cheaper than it used to be. That's great news, right?
Not so fast. For certain it's not good news for those counting on a continued rise in US oil production from the "shale miracle". Many drillers were challenged to operate profitably when oil was above $70 per barrel. Very few will remain solvent with oil in the $50s (as it is as of this writing).
So, expect US oil production to suffer from these lower prices if they persist. But even if oil prices rise and rise soon, there's new data that indicates the total amount of extractable oil from America's shale plays is less — much less — than what we're being told (or better put, "sold").