Pioneer CEO sees ‘very little growth’ in U.S. oil production

U.S. oil production will likely see “very little growth” in the future after remaining largely flat in 2021 at around 11 million barrels a day, Scott Sheffield, Pioneer Natural Resources Co chief executive officer, said at a conference on Tuesday.

The coronavirus health crisis slashed global fuel demand and sent oil prices plummeting last year before economic stimulus measures and COVID-19 vaccine rollouts helped the industry regain footing in recent months.

Still, U.S. shale oil production is lower than pre-pandemic levels and Sheffield and other industry experts said during CERAWeek by IHS Markit that it was unlikely to recover to its peak more than 13 million barrels per day.

“I see U.S. production flattish this year at around 11 million barrels a day with very little growth in the future,” Sheffield said.

The decline in oil comes as public policy, investors and energy companies increasingly focus on producing clean energy to fight the effects of climate change.

Sheffield said Irving, Texas-based Pioneer was working to electrify its fracking fleet to help reduce emissions in its oil production.