This week, we take a trip around the Lower 48 US states to learn what trends and activities we should be paying attention to, as our erstwhile shale expert bids us farewell.

In Noah Brenner's last hours as Upstream's Houston bureau chief, he sat down for one last recording session to give us a country-wide snapshot of the shale industry today.

First he discusses Occidental's push into drilling multi-lateral wells in the Permian basin, likely one of the first large-scale applications of the technology in one of the world's hottest oil plays. 

The company reckons the strategy will help it significantly reduce breakeven costs in the play.

If the strategy proves successful, industry could see further pressure on global oil prices over the next few years at a time when many predicted a more sustained recovery.

Longtime listeners may recall the first time The Bit covered multi-laterals. For those that don't you can catch up here.

We wish Noah all the best in his new venture. Keep that bit spinning...

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Music by RDG. Check out RDG's Soundcloud page.