A surge in hedging contracts is helping U.S. shale drillers ride out the turmoil in global oil markets this year. Next year may not be so easy. As of March, the biggest explorers had hedged 28 percent of this year’s production, according to Warren Russell and Michael Cohen of Barclays Plc. Those contracts, which lock in future payments, are expected to help U.S. output reach a “multi-decade high by December, within sights of the all-time high reached in 1970,” the analysts wrote in a note to clients. There are no guarantees for 2018, however, when most of the hedges expire. The falling price of crude, which has dropped 10 percent since the start of the year, is taking its toll, according to Francisco Blanch, head of commodities research at Bank of America Corp. in New York. “There was a lot of hedging when prices were between $50 and $55,” […]