For years, the shale promise has been hollow. Even when oil prices were trading above $100 per barrel, most shale drillers weren’t profitable. They drilled rapidly, brought huge volumes of production online in short order, and upended the global oil market. Any cash they recouped they ploughed back into the ground. The debt taken on to drill new wells was made on the assumption that future growth would translate into bigger earnings, and like any industry growing quickly, Wall Street was quick to pour money into evermore drilling. But spending has vastly outpaced earnings. According to The Wall Street Journal , the shale industry has spent $265 billion more than it has generated since 2010. The collapse of oil prices forced a deep contraction, with lots of write-downs, defaults, layoffs and bankruptcies. There was a period of time when Wall Street was lured back in on the promise of […]