Shale oil and gas has been a boon for several domestic exploration and production companies, but not everyone has had as much success accessing this newer resource. Both ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS-A) stated during their recent conference calls that their North American shale assets have not performed as expected. What is most surprising about that revelation is that, unlike previous quarters, natural gas prices have been steadily increasing and the spread between domestic and foreign crudes is at its lowest in a couple years. 

So what is making these giant oil companies struggle? One issue that could be likely is that big oil is at a slight disadvantage due to not being first movers in these spaces. Therefore, these big companies may have ended up with more acreage outside the "sweet spots" in these new shale plays. Tune into the video below where contributor Tyler Crowe looks at the rough quarter in shale for the oil giants, and ponders what these companies can do to turn it around. 

Fool contributor Tyler Crowe has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him at under the handle TMFDirtyBird, on Google +, or on Twitter: @TylerCroweFool.

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