Crude output from the key US Permian shale formation rose to a record 3.5mn b/d in October with year-on-year gains of 780,000  down from the record 940,000 b/d hit in July (see chart).

Given this, it is an exaggeration for Schlumberger CEO Paal Kibsgaard to say, as he did on his company’s 19 October earnings call, that “the well-established market consensus [is] that the Permian can continue to provide 1.5mn b/d of annual production growth for the foreseeable future.”...