Crude oil production in the Permian is set to rise above 4 million bpd for the first time in history next month, the Energy Information Administration said in the latest release of its Drilling Productivity Report.
This month, the fastest-growing shale play in the United States is producing an estimated average of 3.98 million barrels per day, which is set to expand by 43,000 bpd in March, to 4.024 million bpd. This will in turn push the total shale oil output of the United States up by 84,000 bpd to 8.398 million bpd in March from 8.314 million bpd this month.
Growth in production from other shale plays will also help, of course. In Niobrara, the EIA expects this to grow by 16,000 bpd between February and March to 713,000 barrels per day. The Bakken will contribute 13,000 bpd to the national production increase, to 1.452 million bpd in March.
The Permian is clearly an outperformer among shale plays: between 2017 and 2018, crude oil production shot up by as much as 860,000 bpd to 2.76 million bpd. However, this is to a large extent because of the fact it is a newly tapped play unlike legacy regions such as the Eagle Ford and the Bakken. The Permian has been the biggest contributor to the inexorable rise in U.S. oil production and this year it will keep this role, with the national total seen rising to 12.4 million bpd this year, according to the latest Short-Term Energy Outlook by EIA.
The Permian also has yet to catch up to the legacy plays in terms of new well production rates. This month, the average daily output from a new well was 598 bpd, which is set to rise to 603 bpd next month, However, it compares with 1,452 bpd in Bakken, to grow to 1,458 bpd in March, and 1,335 bpd per new well per rig in the Eagle Ford, set to grow to 1,337 bpd in March.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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