North Dakota's largest producer, Whiting Petroleum, announced that it would suspend all fracking, and that Continental Resources has effectively done the same after reporting that it no longer has any fracking crews working in the Bakken shale.
As Reuters reports, Whiting said it would "suspend all fracking and spend 80 percent less this year, the biggest cutback to date by a major U.S. shale company reacting to the plunge in crude prices."
There is just one problem. Whiting Chief Executive Officer Jim Volker said that "we believe this conservative strategy should help us to maintain our liquidity position and leave us well positioned to capitalize on a rebound in oil prices."
In other words, the moment oil prices rebound even modestly, and according to many the new breakeven shale prices are as low at $40-$50/barrel, the Whitings and Continentals will immediately resume production, forcing Saudi Arabia to go back to square one, boosting supply even higher, and repeat the entire charade from scratch.
And so on.