Huge cost savings are waning for U.S. shale oil companies, marking an end to the drastic price cuts on equipment and services over the past 16 months that helped them survive the worst industry downturn in six years. Companies including Anadarko Petroleum Corp, ConocoPhillips and Occidental Petroleum Corp have saved millions on drilling and fracking wells in Texas, Colorado and North Dakota since the oil price slide started by demanding that oilfield service companies slash prices by 20 percent to 30 percent or more. Those savings, coupled with big gains in rig productivity that allowed more oil to be pumped with less equipment, created a lifeline for companies coping with a more than 50 percent drop in crude prices. But productivity gains have stalled in the last few months and deflation may be slowing as well, just as producers try to withstand a lower-for-longer price outlook. ConocoPhillips has seen […]