Drilling activity and hydrocarbon output are on the rise in the US shale plays, greatly incentivized by high energy prices.
In this post we analyze well productivity trends among the major basins and a ranking of operators in the Permian:
This article contains still images from the interactive dashboards available in the original blog post. To follow the instructions in this article, please use the interactive dashboards. Furthermore, they allow you to uncover other insights as well.
Visit ShaleProfile blog to explore the full interactive dashboard
These interactive presentations contain the latest oil & gas production data from 156,185 horizontal wells in 13 US states, through November. Ohio and West Virginia are excluded, as both haven’t yet reported November production data.
US tight oil production rose to over 7.5 million b/d in November (after upcoming revisions), an annual gain of 0.4 million b/d. Tight gas output set a new record in November, at about 72.5 Bcf/d (excluding Ohio & West Virginia and after upcoming revisions).
Currently 594 rigs are drilling horizontal wells in the Lower 48 states (according to Baker Hughes😞
US Horizontal oil rigs (left axis, by basin) and WTI (right axis)
The big jump in oil prices over the last week is not visible here yet, but note that the last time WTI was above $100 (2014), there were over twice the number of rigs in the US shale plays.
The following overview shows how well productivity (normalized for lateral length) has changed in the 3 major tight oil basins:
Average well productivity by basin. Bottom charts plot completion designs over time.
The top chart reveals that normalized well results (as measured by the average cumulative oil production in the first 12 months) is no longer growing in the tight oil basins, but is still at a high level. Horizontal oil wells that were completed in 2020 recovered on average between 15 thousand (Eagle Ford) and 18 thousand (Permian) barrels of oil in the first year on production, for every 1k feet of lateral length. The thickness of the curves corresponds with the related well count.
In the final tab the output and location of the 15 largest US shale oil producers are displayed. EOG and ConocoPhillips are together good for over 1 million b/d of tight oil production.
Most of the action is in the Permian Basin. Here we share a ranking of all the major operators in this basin (over 100 operated wells), by average well productivity, including only horizontal oil wells that were completed after 2017:
Operator well productivity ranking by operator in the Permian basin. Includes horizontal oil wells with a production start after 2017.
The ranking uses the same productivity metric as in the previous overview. It reveals that EOG is in the lead, as its wells recover almost 28 thousand barrels of oil in the first year on production (820 wells), for every 1k feet of lateral length. Occidental Resources, which has failed to grow output, is also showing good well results with 23 thousand barrels of oil on this metric (827 wells). Further analysis revealed that its wells are however declining more rapidly than in the past.
Our next post will be on North Dakota, which already released January production data (available in our subscription services).
We are also now starting to cover conventional production in the US. Most conventional wells and their production history are already available in our data subscription. For more information, just contact us!
Production data is subject to revisions.
For these presentations, we used data gathered from the sources listed below.
- Arkansas Oil & Gas Commission
- Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission
- Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. Similar to Texas, lease/unit production is allocated over wells in order to estimate their individual production histories.
- Montana Board of Oil and Gas
- New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission
- North Dakota Department of Natural Resources
- Ohio Department of Natural Resources
- Oklahoma Corporation Commission — Oil & Gas Division
- Oklahoma Tax Commission
- Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
- Texas Railroad Commission. Individual well production is estimated through the allocation of lease production data over the wells in a lease, and from pending lease production data.
- Utah Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining
- Automated Geographic Reference Center of Utah.
- West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
- West Virginia Geological & Economic Survey
- Wyoming Oil & Gas Conservation Commission
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