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U.S. Condensate Output Set To Increase In 2018

Oil infrastructure

(Click to enlarge)

From Dec 2016 to Dec 2017 US Tight oil output has increased by 975 kb/d based on US tight oil output data from the EIA.

For the entire US we only have EIA monthly output estimates through Oct 2017. Over the Dec 2016 to Oct 2017 period US output has increased by 866 kb/d and the OLS trend has a slope of 821 kb/d.

(Click to enlarge)

Note that the 866 kb/d increase in U.S. output over 10 months would be a 1040 kb/d increase over a 12-month period.

Most of the increase in U.S. output has been from increased LTO output. The forecasts by several agencies (EIA, IEA, and OPEC) of more than a 1000 kb/d increase in U.S. output in 2018 may assume that the recently increased oil price level will lead to increased investment in the oil sector.

Much of the increase in LTO output has been in the Permian basin and several factors may slow down the recent rapid growth. Among these are limited fracking crews, inadequate pipeline capacity for natural gas, which will limit output as flaring limits are reached, and potential water shortages.

Longer term the various LTO plays will run out of space to drill more wells in the tier one areas (the so-called sweet-spots) and this will limit the rate of increase within 2 or 3 years. It is likely that the Eagle Ford is close to this point, the Bakken might reach that point by 2019, and the Permian basin perhaps by 2021.

For U.S. C+C output, I expect about a 600+/-100 kb/d increase in 2018.

By Peak Oil Barrel

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  • Mamdouh G Salameh on January 27 2018 said:
    Contrary to claims by the EIA, US tight oil production increased by only 430,000 barrels a day (b/d) between December 2016 and December 2017.

    Total US oil production (including tight oil) increased by only 200,000 b/d between 2016 and 2017 from 8.85 million barrels a day (mbd) in 2016 to 9.05 mbd in 2017 and not the 886,000 b/d claimed. That is if you allow for a 5% depletion per annum in US conventional oilfields.

    The projection for US oil production in 2018 is 9.25 mbd made up of 5.1 mbd of tight oil and 4.15 mbd of conventional oil and not 10.30 mbd as projected by the EIA and repeated verbatim by the IEA.

    Projections claimed by EIA and IEA are so exaggerated that you can only take them with a huge pinch of salt. They are intended solely to dampen the rise in oil prices. Even the Saudi oil minister Mr Khalid Alfalih felt obliged to accuse the IEA publicly in Davos of hyping US shale oil production.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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