Saudi Arabia may be underestimating how large of a production spike U.S. shale drillers will be able to achieve after OPEC and non-OPEC cuts are in effect, Goldman Sachs said.

According to a Goldman Sachs report seen by Bloomberg, crude prices may skid back to $55 per barrel if U.S. shale output rebounds once prices clear the $60 per barrel mark.

WTI prices climbed by about 4 percent to just over $53 per barrel around noon Monday, up from a closing price of $51.50 on Friday.

Brent prices rose to just over $56 per barrel on Monday, up from $54.33 per barrel at Friday’s closing bell.

U.S. and Canadian producers are not participating in a deal to cut 558,000 barrel per day  that was reached between a dozen non-OPEC producers over the weekend.

The cuts will be effective as of January 1 for an initial duration of six months.

OPEC said the production plan will be extendable for an additional six months “to take into account prevailing market conditions and prospects.”

Russia, Mexico, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are among the non-OPEC producers who have agreed to the cuts.

Those cuts, along with an OPEC plan to target a total production level of 32.5 million bpd, could send global crude prices past $60 per barrel.

Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said over the weekend that he does not believe U.S. shale production will surge in light of the two production deals.

Goldman analysts said in the report that they “disagree” with the minister’s comment.

Goldman expects that U.S. producers could see their annual production growth rate climb to 800,000 bpd with West Texas Intermediate prices at $55 per barrel.

The firm said that production growth could be achieved “with limited outspend of cash flow and declining leverage.”

There is already some evidence that U.S. shale drillers are returning to the oil patch as global crude prices hold above the $50 per barrel mark.

According to Baker Hughes, the number of natural gas and oil rigs operating in the United States climbed by 27 to 624 rigs for the week of December 9 compared to 709 rigs a year ago.

Rig levels in the Permian, DJ-Niobrara and Utica basins have now climbed above year-ago levels.

On the state level, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Wyoming each saw their rig counts climb to just one rig shy of year-ago levels.

An analysis conducted by S&P Global Platts found that the OPEC production cuts could spur further production gains in the Permian Basin’s Delaware and Midland areas.

Running a forecast model that assumes a $50 per barrel and $65 per barrel WTI price, Platts said it found clear evidence that U.S. shale producers have “incentive to up step production.”

If WTI prices stay at the $50 per barrel mark, Platts estimates that Permian production will add 75,000 barrels per day in 2017.

If WTI prices climb to $65 per barrel, Platts estimates that the Permian will add 120,000 bpd in production next year.

Platts said that the Denver-Julesburg area is only other area where production is expected to grow in 2017 under its price scenarios.


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