Rallying oil prices are testing once again the U.S. shale patch’s resolve to spend within their means and prioritize profitability over production growth. U.S oil prices above $55 a barrel are also testing the patience of investors with American oil producers, and investor hopes that this time around shale firms will keep, for a change, their promises to stay disciplined in spending for drilling. The higher the price of oil, the greater the temptation to plow more cash into new wells. The fact that U.S. oil companies are a motley bunch of large publicly traded corporations and small privately held firms is not making the industry’s pitch to regain investor confidence easier, either. The bigger listed firms continue to vow discipline and sustainable production growth, while some private companies are set to continue outspending cash flows to boost production at these higher oil prices. Considering that U.S. producers are […]