US tight oil production grew by 100 thousand b/d in May, and at the current pace of drilling activity, may continue to rise slowly over time.

But it will take years before a new record is made. Unlike tight gas output, which already set a fresh record in May

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 145,364 horizontal wells in 13 US states, through May. Ohio & West Virginia are deselected in most dashboards, as they haven’t reported any Q2 production data yet.

Total production

US tight oil production rose by 100 thousand b/d in May, to 7.2 million b/d (after upcoming revisions). This was almost a million b/d higher than a year earlier, when extremely low prices caused a significant part of production to be curtailed. But compared with the peak in November 2019, output fell by almost 1.5 million b/d. Natural gas production (excl. Ohio & West Virginia) grew slightly as well, to a fresh record at just above 70 Bcf/d (toggle product to ‘gas’).

Supply Projection

The horizontal rig count in the Lower 48 states has climbed to 462 as of last week (according to Baker Hughes). At this level, and assuming no changes in drilling or well productivity, we expect output growth to resume, albeit at a far lower pace than before the pandemic, as is visualized in our Supply Projection dashboard:

US tight oil outlook, by basin, based on current drilling activity & well performance

Note that the Permian basin, where more than 50% of these rigs are drilling, is responsible for all this growth (you can select solely this basin in the Basin selection on the left side in the interactive version).

Natural gas production is also projected to grow at current conditions, and could reach 100 Bcf/d by the end of the decade (making the unrealistic assumption that all else will stay equal):

Natural gas output would grow in this scenario by about 50% in both the Haynesville and the Permian Basin from today’s level.

Horizontal oil well productivity

Although well productivity on average is still inching higher (see the Well quality tab), we find that in the major oil basis, after normalizing for lateral length, well results were unchanged in the last 5 years:

Normalized well performance in the major oil basins (rate vs cumulative production, per thousand feet). Horizontal oil wells completed since 2010 only.

Top operators

In the final tab the output and location of the 15 largest US shale producers are displayed. The top 3, including EOG, ConocoPhillips and Pioneer Natural Resources, produce now 0.5 million b/d or more from horizontal tight oil wells.


Our next post will be on North Dakota, which already released July production data (available in our subscription services).

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

Visit our blog to read the full post and use the interactive dashboards to gain more insight:

Follow us on Social Media:

Twitter: @ShaleProfile

LinkedIn: ShaleProfile

Facebook: ShaleProfile




Dedicated to developing the best Visualization & #Analytics solution for the #Shale #Oil & #Gas industry. Follow us and gain insights on Shale Production.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Is Soil Health a Big Deal?

Collective consciousness and the environment

Modern Fireplaces An Easy Solution For The Prerogatives

Can Delhi’s Wetlands Rejuvenate Its Ground Water?

Snippets on Energy #4

Cool Story — The Coral Reef Alliance Strives to Protect Our Coral Reefs

An Earth-Sized Wake-Up Call for Change

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
ShaleProfile Analytics

ShaleProfile Analytics

Dedicated to developing the best Visualization & #Analytics solution for the #Shale #Oil & #Gas industry. Follow us and gain insights on Shale Production.

More from Medium

103: A Futurist’s Lens on Immigration — Future of Work, Climate Change, and More with Jamais Cascio

Knives Legacy — Royalties

New films coming to Imagination Station’s KeyBank Discovery Theater

Trying the Saga Series