The North American shale boom is still ongoing, and that means there are plenty of opportunities for investors. While OPEC struck what some assumed would be a fatal blow to North American shale exploration and extraction with its increased production of recent years, the damage has turned out to be fairly well contained. Quite a few shale companies and operations did go under, but many more either weathered the storm in good graces or simply shut down their operations temporarily. With efficiency increases since allowing for profitable extraction at even lower petroleum prices than in the past, it seems almost certain that plenty of shale-based production will continue in Canada and the United States for a long time to come.
Among investors who might otherwise like to get involved with this development, though, a certain skepticism regarding the prudence of doing so seems fairly common. Having seen how easily petroleum production giants like Saudi Arabia can pressure North American operators out of business, some investors feel that the vicissitudes of this particular market are simply too cruel to face in good conscience.
On the other hand, other investors have discovered that becoming exposed to all that uncertainty is not always necessary. As one great article on it makes clear, investing in companies that support shale production and refining operations instead of engaging in them directly can make a great deal of sense.
The major reason why so many shale companies were able to stay in business even when OPEC dropped the hammer, after all, is that they have continually found ways to extract oil and gas and bring them to market at lower costs to themselves. At the same time, their profits do depend on what buyers on world markets are willing to pay for particular commodities, with these numbers fluctuating more than many investors would like.
Businesses that provide more economical ways, though, of seeing to essential needs like the transportation of petroleum or natural gas tend to be more insulated from these developments. Given that so many shale producers are now committed to continuing their activities wherever prices might go, supporting players like these can make attractive investments for those who are seeking a little more security.