Spending by exploration and production companies is expected to reach record highs in 2014, according to reports from Barclays. Capital directed at North American shale plays is expected to rise due to tumultuous environments overseas, further fueling the United States’ climb toward the title of the world’s top energy producer.

Oil and gas companies typically abide by the, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying,” mantra, and are constantly seeking to expand operations and boost returns. But with horizontal drilling and completions in the shale...


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