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OPEC just can’t seem to catch a break; shale drillers in the U.S. are now expected to increase April oil output by 109,000 barrels per day, according to new information published Monday by the Energy Information Administration.
The EIA’s Drilling Productivity Report is now forecasting a 109,000-barrel-per-day increase in oil production from the seven most prolific oil-producing basins in the United States, to reach an average of 4.962 million barrels per day in April 2017, up from 4.853 million barrels per day last month.
The April increase—98 percent of which is expected to come from the Permian and Eagle Ford basins—come at a stressful time for OPEC, which has been hoping for some respite from the supply glut along with more attractive barrel pricing, what with OPEC’s agreement to cut 1.2 million barrels per day from its combined oil production.
While barrels prices have lifted, so too has U.S. shale production, not to mention the rise in U.S. crude oil inventories—a situation that may not only derail OPEC’s plans to ease the glut, but may also keep OPEC from extending the deal come May, with heavyweights such as Saudi Arabia reticent about how it will proceed when faced with losing even more market share without the reward of increased prices.
From December 2016 to April 2017, the Permian is expected to increase oil production from new and legacy wells by 222,000 barrels per day, from 2.063 million bpd to 2.286 million bpd. Niobrara is the second biggest gainer in that five-month span, and is expected to increase daily production from 404,707 bpd to 443,840 bpd.
Related: U.S. Shale Faces A Workforce Shortage
Overall, using EIA forecasted data, production from the seven most prolific basins is expected to increase 277,538 barrels per day in April from December levels, offsetting more than 15 percent of what OPEC and the 11 non-OPEC nations are trying to cut.
For April, the Bakken is expected to decrease production by 10,000 barrels per day, while Haynesville and Utica basin—also the worst performers in terms of growth since December—are expected to remain flat.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for US-based Divergente LLC consulting firm, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.