Shale Oil Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The Shale Oil Market is segmented by Geography (North America, South America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Middle-East and Africa).

Market Snapshot

Shale Oil Market Overview
Study Period:

2016 - 2026

Base Year:


Fastest Growing Market:

North America

Largest Market:

North America


>2 %

Shale Oil Market Top Companies

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Market Overview

The shale oil market is expected to register a CAGR of more than 2% over the period of 2021-2026. Since the beginning of the shale boom, the outbreak of COVID-19 has brought a huge change in the industry in 2007. The pandemic is expected to impede the growth of the market, with most of the risky assets being restructured and many companies either leaving or soon to leave the basins till the increase in oil prices goes above USD 50 per barrel. Factors such as an increase in consumption of oil and rising growth in the oil-dependent industries are expected to drive the market. However, volatility in the oil market with prices going below the shale oil production cost acts as a restraint to the market.

  • The petrochemical industry is expected to drive the shale oil market in the forecast period due to its increasing usage of oil as a chemical component rather than an energy provider. Shale oil is a large-scale polluter, and therefore governments all over the world are trying to limit its usage as an energy source by using it to create polymers and plastics.
  • New development in the shale oil production technology, like the advancements in horizontal drilling technology, is expected to make the shale oil reservoirs more viable and may provide an opportunity for market players.
  • North America is expected to be the largest market in the forecast period due to its large-scale shale oil production in the region. The United States is expected to lead shale oil production in the region.

Scope of the Report

The shale oil market report includes:

North America
South America
Middle-East and Africa

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Key Market Trends

Growing Petrochemical Industry to Drive the Market

  • Many countries have large reserves of shale oil deposits, which may be used to decrease their dependency on imports of oil to suffice the needs of the petrochemical industry in the country. This aids the growth of the shale oil industry in the nation by providing an incentive to invest in shale oil production.
  • Moreover, the share of shale oil in transportation and power generation has been reducing due to better and cleaner alternatives replacing it in the market. However, it is the most important chemical in the petrochemical segment, without which synthesizing the required compounds would be much difficult.
  • Several world-scale projects are currently following a path of configuring a refinery to produce maximum volumes of chemicals instead of transportation fuels as in a conventional refinery.
  • As of 2019, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) planned to invest INR 700 Billion for setting up crude-to-chemical projects adjacent to the existing Jamnagar site, an integrated petroleum refinery and petrochemical complex, as part of its oil-to-chemical strategy. It is expected to be among the foremost full crude-to-chemical plant in the world and increase the production of petrochemicals by reducing the generation of petrol and diesel. Large-scale investments like these are expected to increase the demand for shale oil in the forecast period.
  • The petrochemical industry is expected to increase significantly in the forecast period due to increasing uses of petrochemical products, the introduction of innovative processes like direct crude cracking, and increasing investments into the sector are expected to grow the market. Growth in the petrochemical industry is expected to increase the consumption of shale oil, thereby aiding the growth of the shale oil market.
Shale Oil Market Key Trends

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North America to Dominate the Market 

  • The United States, in 2019, was the largest producer of shale oil in the world. Many different countries such as Brazil, Canada, China, and Argentina have tried to emulate the American shale boom but have not been able to succeed. However, large progress has been made in China, but due to the difficulties posed by the unstable reservoirs, shale oil production may only rise slightly in the forecast period.
  • The Permian basin is the largest source of shale oil in the United States, with Spraberry (TX Permian) field being the most productive shale oil field. In April 2020, the field produced 1.757 million barrels per day, from 1.532 million barrels per day, in April 2019.
  • The shale oil production in the United States increased, by 13.87%, from 7.956 million barrels per day (mbpd) in 2019 to 6.986 mbpd in 2018. Shale oil production may increase further due to new wells being drilled across the country.
  • Canada’s production of shale oil in the country was approximately 335,000 barrels a day in 2018. Multinational companies are expected to invest in the market, and the production is expected to increase in the forecast period.
  • Hence, North America is expected to dominate the market due to the overwhelming production of shale on the continent and further increase in the investment in the sector.
Shale Oil Market Growth By Region

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Competitive Landscape

The shale oil market is fragmented. Some of the key players in this market are Exxon Mobil Corporation, Chevron Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Marathon Oil Corporation, and Occidental Petroleum Corporation.

Recent Developments

  • North Dakota voted to repurpose USD 221 million in federal coronavirus aid to various state agencies, including a USD 16-million grant to oil companies in support of the fracking process. The aid comes from the USD 1.25 billion awarded to the state through the Coronavirus Relief Fund established by the federal CARES Act. This development is expected to aid both the shale oil and gas companies in the region in 2020.
  • Fracking activity in Vaca Muerta shot up by more than 55% month on month in November 2020. The number of frac stages in the play rose to 545 in November 2020 from 345 in October 2020. These numbers are similar to November 2019, which is an indication that the shale oil & gas production might get back to the pre-covid levels.
  • In January 2021, OPEC has cut its 2021 forecast for US tight crude, another term for shale, and expects production to decline by 140,000 barrels per day to 7.16 million bpd. The US government expects shale output in March 2020 to fall about 78,000 bpd to 7.5 million. This is even when the price of crude is expected to rise, giving much-needed leeway to the shale oil and gas producers.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Scope of the Study

    2. 1.2 Market Definition

    3. 1.3 Study Assumptions




    1. 4.1 Introduction

    2. 4.2 Shale Oil Production and Forecast, in million barrels per day, till 2026

    3. 4.3 Recent Trends and Developments

    4. 4.4 Government Policies and Regulations

    5. 4.5 Market Dynamics

      1. 4.5.1 Drivers

      2. 4.5.2 Restraints

    6. 4.6 Supply Chain Analysis

    7. 4.7 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.7.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 4.7.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers

      3. 4.7.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.7.4 Threat of Substitutes Products and Services

      5. 4.7.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 5.1 Geography

      1. 5.1.1 North America

      2. 5.1.2 South America

      3. 5.1.3 Europe

      4. 5.1.4 Asia-Pacific

      5. 5.1.5 Middle-East and Africa


    1. 6.1 Mergers and Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Collaborations, and Agreements

    2. 6.2 Strategies Adopted by Leading Players

    3. 6.3 Company Profiles

      1. 6.3.1 Exxon Mobil Corporation

      2. 6.3.2 Chevron Corporation

      3. 6.3.3 ConocoPhillips Company

      4. 6.3.4 Royal Dutch Shell PLC

      5. 6.3.5 Continental Resources Inc.

      6. 6.3.6 Murphy Oil Corporation

      7. 6.3.7 Occidental Petroleum Corporation

      8. 6.3.8 Marathon Oil Corporation

      9. 6.3.9 Schlumberger Limited

      10. 6.3.10 Halliburton Company

    4. *List Not Exhaustive

**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Shale Oil Market market is studied from 2016 - 2026.

The Shale Oil Market is growing at a CAGR of >2% over the next 5 years.

North America is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

North America holds highest share in 2020.

  • Chevron Corp.
  • Royal Dutch Shell plc
  • Marathon Oil Corporation
  • Occidental Petroleum Corporation
  • Exxon Mobil Corporation

Are the major companies operating in Shale Oil Market.

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