A pumpjack brings oil to the surface in the Monterey Shale, California, U.S. April 29, 2013. Photo: Reuters, Lucy Nicholson

By securing ownership or mineral rights to around 85% of the 1.5 million acre Permian basin, and by watching pioneering operators in the region develop more efficient shale-drilling techniques, Chevron is well positioned to try something new: earn a profit from shale.

The Wall Street Journal reports that, after bringing its costs in the region down by 30% since 2015, Chevron says the operations will lead to free cash flow by 2020, a faster pace than average oil projects.

“The market may be underestimating the ability of these companies to change or adapt,” John Dowd of Fidelity Select Energy Fund was quoted by the WSJ as saying. The firm has about $2 billion worth of holdings in energy assets.