Goldman Sachs is taking a more conservative view. The firm sees costs rising about 30 percent from the trough. At the same time, the average cost necessary to break even on producing oil in the U.S. has stopped falling and has stabilized around $50 to $55 a barrel, Michele Della Vigna, co-head of European equities at Goldman Sachs, told CNBC last week.

But Goldman does not necessarily think inflation will be what eventually kills shale growth. That will happen only when lenders stop offering drillers cheap credit.

That easy money will underwrite investment in new production not just in the Permian basin, but also in other areas in Texas and Oklahoma, Della Vigna said.

“We think it’s a broad renaissance of shale led by incredibly cheap credit, with even sub-investment grade [exploration and production] companies today borrowing at just 7 percent on the high yield market,” he said.

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