"Presently the estimated breakeven price for the “average” well in the Bakken formation in North Dakota is $80 - $90/Bbl. In plain language this means that presently the commercial profitability for new wells is barely positive. The “average” well now yields around 85 000 Bbls during the first 12 months of production and then experiences a year over year decline of 40% (+/-) 2% ... There are also considerable variations in the productivity between plays within the same play and normally the areas with the best production potential (sweetest spots) become developed first (harvesting the lowest hanging fruit first etc.) ... The wells normally have a high production at start up that rapidly enters into steep declines ... [A]n accelerating number of additional producing wells are needed to create growth in [or sustain] total production ... what in some circles presently is referred to as “the Red Queen” effect ... Since the summer of 2010 to the summer of 2011 average first year productivity for newer wells in Bakken declined around 25%! ... Normally before wells within shale areas are put into production, it is close to impossible to issue any guarantees that it will make commercial sense ... As long as shareholders do not suffer any losses it does not matter if production from shales makes little or no commercial sense. These dynamics led to the boom in drilling for shale gas ... [I]t was the growth in the oil price to an apparent structurally higher level that secured commercial support for crude oil production from shales. In that respect it was the oil price that was the true game changer and unleashed the “shale/tight oil revolution”."

Ein Artikel von Rune Likvern über die Grenzkosten der Produktion von Tight Oil aus der Bakken-Formation North Dakotas, steile Förderabfallraten innerhalb des ersten Produktionsjahres, der Notwendigkeit, immer mehr Bohrlöcher niederzubringen um die aggregierte Förderleistung noch zu steigern bzw. aufrechtzuerhalten, dem geringeren Ertrag neuer Bohrungen aufgrund der bereits schon in der Vergangenheit abgeförderten "Sweet Spots", der  Entkopplung ökonomischer [und energetischer!] Rentabilität vom Nennwert entsprechender Anteile an Ölfirmen sowie des hohen Ölpreises als Motor für die Produktion von Tigh Oil aus dichten Tongesteinen. Erschienen auf The Oil Drum (25. September 2012).