US tight oil rose to a new high for the year in August. If the growth in # of drilling rigs continues, we project a 1.5 million b/d increase by end of 2022.
We also show trends in well productivity and a ranking of operators based on actual well results.
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 153,767 horizontal wells in 13 US states, through August. West Virginia is deselected in most views, as it has not yet released Q3 production data. Ohio is in this time, as it did publish Q3 production data last week.
US tight oil production rose to over 7.3 million b/d in August (after upcoming revisions), the highest level since May last year (6.2 million b/d), although still below the peak in November 2019 (8.4 million b/d). Excluding West Virginia, tight gas production is already setting new records, and was 78 Bcf/d in August (toggle product to ‘Gas’ to see this).
Currently 515 rigs are drilling horizontal wells in the 13 US states that we cover (according to Baker Hughes), 40 more than in our post on these states last month. At this level of drilling activity, we project further growth in US shale output. If the number would gradually rise to 700 rigs by the end of next year, US tight oil might even grow to close to 9 million b/d by the end of 2022, as you can find in our Supply Projection dashboard:
US Hz. rig count (top) and tight oil outlook (bottom), by basin, based on a rig count of 700 by end of next year, and current drilling efficiency & well performance
In this scenario we also assume that well productivity and rig efficiency stay where they are at the moment, which is far from certain.
More wells have been completed in recent months than were drilled, which explains the bump in output during the last months of 2021.
Well productivity has increased over the years in the major basins, as you can find in the following overview:
Well performance (average rate vs. cum.) in the 3 main tight oil basins. Hz. oil wells completed since 2009 only
It reveals that also in 2020 an increase in performance was visible. However, after normalizing for lateral length, we find that well productivity has not changed since 2016, on average.
Which operators have the best performing wells? In the overview below, we have ranked all major operators, with over 300 horizontal oil wells completed in the past 5 years, by their average cumulative oil recovery during the first year of operation.
Operator ranking based on average well productivity, measured by the average first year cumulative oil production. Hz. oil wells since 2016 only.
Based on this metric, ConocoPhillips has the best results: the 2,223 horizontal oil wells that it has completed since early 2016 recovered on average 177 thousand barrels of oil during the first year on production. EOG, the largest US tight oil operator, is the number 10 in this list, with an average of 156 thousand bbl (3,115 wells).
In the final tab the output and location of the 12 largest US shale oil producers are displayed.
Our next post will be on North Dakota, which already released October production data last week (since then available in our subscription services), followed by posts on the Permian and the Eagle Ford.
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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