• 5 minutes USGS Announces Largest Continuous Oil Assessment in Texas and New Mexico
  • 11 minutes IEA Sees Global Oil Supply Tightening More Quickly In 2019
  • 14 minutes Paris Is Burning Over Climate Change Taxes -- Is America Next?
  • 2 hours $867 billion farm bill passed
  • 13 hours Rage Without Proof: Maduro Accuses U.S. Official Of Plotting Venezuela Invasion
  • 5 hours Venezuela continues to sink in misery
  • 12 hours Has Global Peak Diesel Arrived?
  • 13 hours U.S. Senate Advances Resolution To End Military Support For Saudis In Yemen
  • 1 day Sleeping Hydrocarbon Giant
  • 3 hours No, The U.S. Is Not A Net Exporter Of Crude Oil
  • 1 day OPEC Cuts Deep to Save Cartel
  • 4 hours Air-to-Fuels Energy and Cost Calculation
  • 4 hours What will the future hold for nations dependent on high oil prices.
  • 1 day How High Can Oil Prices Rise? (Part 2 of my previous thread)
  • 1 day And the War on LNG is Now On
  • 1 day Could Tesla Buy GM?
Alt Text

Iran: Don’t Count On A New OPEC Deal

Iran’s OPEC ambassador Ardebili said…

Alt Text

Oil Prices Tank Despite Large Crude Draw

Oil prices fell on Thursday…

Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

More Info

Trending Discussions

The Next Big U.S. Shale Play

Media coverage of the U.S. shale oil and gas industry makes it sound like the Permian is the only place where things are happening. Everybody is buying acreage in the Permian, selling acreage in other shale plays, and production costs are falling the fastest in that same Permian.

True as this may be, this shale play is by no means the only one where production is growing. In fact, oil and gas output across the shale patch has been growing, as the Energy Information Administration’s latest drilling productivity report shows. And that’s not all because there is a new actor on stage: Powder River Basin in Wyoming.

Now, in its May drilling productivity report the EIA confirmed what media have been saying: the Permian is the hottest spot in the shale patch, with a 71,000-bpd increase in output in April. This hottest spot was followed by the Eagle Ford, which some see as a declining play but if we are to believe EIA data, it is far from a decline: drillers there added 36,000 bpd to total output in April.

Bakken, which the EIA last year said will become the largest source of tight oil and gas in the U.S., added 6,000 bpd to daily production, with Niobrara added 7,000 bpd. Even the Marcellus and Utica plays, which are more famous for their gas, are yielding more crude, with both adding 1,000 bpd to overall output in April.

All in all, despite much skepticism and open doubts in the actual performance of U.S. shale, the fact is that shale drillers are indeed boosting production. There is a school of thought that says the shale bubble will burst at some point, when producers stop being able to service the debts they are taking out to increase production but let’s bear in mind that they are not just investing in more production. Shale drillers are also investing in efficiency improvements that lower their production costs.

Now for the new player in the field, which is in fact not new at all. Bloomberg’s Alex Nussbaum calls Wyoming’s (and Montana’s) Powder River Basin “a home to cattle ranches and coal mines.” Yet until the 2014 price crash, the PRB was one of the shale oil basins that were growing at the fastest rate. Then prices tanked and drillers started getting out.

Related: The Dark Side Of The Oil Tech Boom

Now drillers are returning to the PBR. Crude oil production in the basin jumped to 1,000 bpd of oil equivalent over the last 12 months from less than 800 barrels and a major drilling expansion is on the way.

EOG, Chesapeake, and Devon Energy are planning to spend a combined US$600 million in that part of Wyoming, and pipeline operators are eager to expand in that direction. The reason: land prices are much lower than those in the Permian, for the moment. It’s all about early birds catching worms, and the earlier a bird is the better because prices in Powder River are already rising. A year ago, Nussbaum says, drilling permits went for less than US$1,000 per acre. Now, an acre costs US$17,000.

It may be that the Powder River Basin will repeat the success of the Permian, not least because its geology is similar, which of course means low production prices. Just this week, a local midstream operator, Evolution Midstream, purchased a gas gathering system from peer Lucid Energy Group, saying the asset will make the foundation for regional expansion now that interest in the Powder River Basin is growing so fast.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment
  • Crosby on June 09 2017 said:
    Great article thanks!
  • Jason on June 12 2017 said:
    Interesting article, especially after reading so many gloom and doom reports about peak oil, and the end of the O&G industry.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News