Diamondback Energy Inc. is aiming to keep oil production flat in the Permian Basin this year, part of a larger trend among Lower 48 exploration and production (E&P) firms to ensure healthy shareholder returns amid a bullish price cycle.


“We are at the beginning of an incredible period of value creation for the industry, and I’m confident that the capital discipline demonstrated by us and our peers in 2021 will continue, putting returns and, therefore, shareholders first,” CEO Travis Stice told analysts during a call to discuss fourth-quarter results. “We believe this is the best near-term path to equity value creation as our shift from a consumer of capital to a net distributor of capital cements itself as our long-term business model.”

Stice pointed to a supportive...