The U.S. shale industry may not grow as much, or at least as fast, as everyone thinks it will, according to a top industry executive. The drilling frenzy in West Texas is not only facing pipeline constraints – an issue that is very well-publicized at this point – but also some operational problems. Schlumberger’s CEO Paal Kibsgaard says that the shale industry is running into some productivity issues that might mean that shale growth ends up undershooting many of the heady growth forecasts. “[T]the well-established market consensus that the Permian can continue to provide 1.5 million barrels per day of annual production growth for the foreseeable future is starting to be called into question,” Kibsgaard said in an earnings call with analysts. Pipeline woes are indeed causing a slowdown in the Permian, but this isn’t the only problem. “Instead, we believe the main challenge in the Permian going forward […]