Oil prices are the highest in recent years, and politicians want companies to inflate more. But most major American frackers are standing or even allowing production to decline, and instead are handing out cash to investors.

Much of the U.S. shale industry recently reported higher profits than in the same quarter a year earlier, but companies are not reinvesting more in production – indeed, some have allowed U.S. production to decline by focusing on payroll investors. This week, the nine largest U.S. oil producers said they paid $ 9.4 billion to shareholders in the first quarter through dividends and share buybacks, about 54 percent more than they invested in new oil developments.

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