Editorial comment

Evolution is just another “theory that’s out there,” according to Texas governor and US presidential candidate Rick Perry. Despite the views of some skeptics, the natural selection process, described colloquially as “survival of the fittest,” is working with remarkable efficiency in the oil and gas sector. In the economic jungle, it is typically the fit that get fitter, but on occasion, young species have an opportunity to survive and even thrive. Unconventional to conventional. A recent example of oilfield evolution is how unconventional E&P has now become a conventional segment of major operators’ portfolios. The dual strategy of horizontal drilling and multistage fracturing led to the discovery of prolific shale plays in North America, and now the search has been extended to the entire globe. Young companies that have thrived in the shale sector include US independents such as Chesapeake, Devon and EOG.

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