"Shale grab in U.S. stalls as falling values repel buyers" Bloomberg.

Bloomberg: “Oil companies are hitting the brakes on a U.S. shale land grab that produced an abundance of cheap natural gas — and troubles for the industry. The spending slowdown by international companies including BHP Billiton Ltd. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc comes amid a series of write-downs of oil and gas shale assets, caused by plunging prices and disappointing wells.” “The companies are turning instead to developing current projects, unable to justify buying more property while fields bought during the 2009-2012 flurry remain below their purchase price, according to analysts. ….The deal-making slump, which may last for years, threatens to slow oil and gas production growth as companies that built up debt during the rush for shale acreage can’t depend on asset sales to fund drilling programs. The decline has pushed acquisitions of North American energy assets in the first-half of the year to the lowest since 2004.
….North American oil and gas deals, including shale assets, plunged 52 percent to $26 billion in the first six months from $54 billion in the year-ago period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. During the drilling frenzy of 2009 through 2012, energy companies spent more than $461 billion buying North American oil and gas properties, the data show.
….Those companies that have to sell assets will likely fetch lower prices, said Fadel Gheit, an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. in New York. Producers with the highest debt levels that need cash to fund development, such as Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK), of Oklahoma City, are most at risk of having to accept lower offers from buyers, Gheit said in a phone interview.”