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Hoping for a price surge, US oil firms keep wells in reserve

Wells ready to pump oil and gas when market picks up but some analysts think abundant supplies may cap rally

This shale oil well owned by Anadarko Petroleum in Berthoud, Colorado, is just one of more than 4,000 drilled in the US producing nothing, but ready to be tapped quickly.

Berthoud, Colorado

THE price of oil keeps dropping. But that didn't stop a work crew from drilling a well recently on what was once a cornfield, carefully guiding the last sections of 13,000 feet of pipe spiralling into the hard Niobrara shale with a diamond-tipped bit.

Their well