Patience has been a theme throughout the oil patch these last two quarters. Most notably, the big Marcellus producers have been pleading with investors to hang tight as new processing and pipeline capacity races to catch up with exploding production growth -- an imbalance that has been hammering down Appalachian gas price indices. And producers in every U.S. shale play have been pressing investors to discount some recent disappointments in production growth as the merely temporary consequence of the rapid switch to multi-well pad drilling. Though this practice is certain to yield important cost and operational efficiencies, it inherently defers production until all of the wells on a pad have been completed, causing growth to be lumpier than it has...
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