"Shell’s New Permian Play Profitable At $20 A Barrel"

I'm no expert, but this news from "The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News" seems like great news for U.S. consumers and a really big deal.

OPEC’s worries about the booming U.S. oil production have increased significantly with the big three oil companies’ interest in shale. Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, and Chevron Corp., are planning $10 billion of investments in shale in 2017, a quantum jump compared to previous years. All the naysayers who doubted the longevity of the shale oil industry may have to modify their forecasts.

OPEC lost when they pumped at will as lower oil prices destroyed their finances, and now they are losing their hard-earned market share as a result of cutting production. Shell’s declaration that they can “make money in the Permian with oil at $40 a barrel, with new wells profitable at about $20 a barrel” is an indication that Shell is here to stay, whatever the price of oil.

Related: January New York Times piece, "Land Rush in Permian Basin, Where Oil Is Stacked Like a Layer Cake".

"How Ikea's Billy bookcase took over the world"

Fine piece by economist Tim Harford. If I were still teaching MBAs I'd assign it to them. Has several interesting nuggets including these three:

Now there are 60-odd million in the world, nearly one for every 100 people - not bad for a humble bookcase. . . . 

Every three seconds, another Billy bookcase rolls off the production line of the Gyllensvaans Mobler factory in Kattilstorp, a tiny village in southern Sweden. . . .

It does not look like it has changed much since 1978, yet it costs 30% less. That is partly due to constant, tiny tweaks in both product and production method.

UPDATE: Link included now.