The Market Structure of Shale Gas Drilling in the United States

This paper provides the first empirical study of the market structure of the shale gas drilling industry in the United States. Modern shale gas drilling, which is a major revolution in the energy industry, was highly concentrated during its experimental stage, roughly from the early 1980s to the early 2000s, and has since become less concentrated, exhibiting a long tail of infrequent drillers. Nevertheless, even during the latter stage, the vast majority of shale gas wells have been drilled by a limited number of large independent oil and gas producers.

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