May 7, 2020 / 3:28 PM / 20 days ago

CEO of top U.S. shale producer sees oil price recovery continuing

HOUSTON, May 7 (Reuters) - U.S. shale producer Pioneer Natural Resources expects oil prices to recover to at least $45 per barrel this year, its chief executive said on Thursday in a call with investors.

Even when U.S. benchmark prices return to that level, few shale producers will be able to expand production because of their high debt levels, said Scott Sheffield, Pioneer's CEO. U.S. oil futures were trading about $25.90 on Thursday. (Reporting by Gary McWilliams Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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