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Non-U.S. Shales Prove Difficult to Crack

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By JUSTIN SCHECK and SELINA WILLIAMS: WALL STREET JOURNAL

March 18, 2015 11:20 p.m. ET

Exxon, Shell and others are pulling back from once-promising shale finds in Europe, Asia

After spending more than five years and billions of dollars trying to re-create the U.S. shale boom overseas, some of the world’s biggest oil companies are starting to give up amid a world-wide collapse in crude prices.

Chevron Corp. , Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC have packed up nearly all of their hydraulic fracturing wildcatting in Europe, Russia and China. 

“The pace of development outside North America is slower everywhere than people thought it would be,” Simon Henry, Shell’s chief financial officer, said in a recent interview.

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