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Shale output at seven major U.S. oil and gas plays will climb by 131,000 barrels per day next month to hit a 6.954 million bpd according to a new report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Monday.
The Permian Basin, in New Mexico and Texas, will see the biggest climb, the data shows. The basin, which has developed itself as the ground zero of the next shale boom, will see an 80,000-bpd jump in production.
Texas’ Eagle Ford basin, as well North Dakota’s Bakken and Nebraska’s Niobrara basins will also see sizeable jumps, totaling 47,000 barrels per day.
“EIA's approach does not distinguish between oil-directed rigs and gas-directed rigs because once a well is completed it may produce both oil and gas; more than half of the wells produce both,” the report clarified.
After the oil price crash that began in mid-2014, crude oil production growth in the U.S. stalled. In 2016, annual production in the Bakken and Eagle Ford formations fell by 10-20 percent, but production in the Permian Basin continued to grow. At present, production has reached a record 3.0 million barrels per day (Bpd), making it the world’s second-most-prolific field, behind the legendary Ghawar in Saudi Arabia.
The Permian Basin pumped an estimated 815 million barrels of crude last year, beating its previous record of 790 million barrels, achieved back in 1973, IHS Markit reported at the end of 2017. The figures reinforced the Permian’s status as the star of the U.S. shale patch and the main threat to OPEC’s efforts to reduce global oil production in a bid to prop up prices. It was only thanks to fracking that the Permian went back on the map of promising oil-producing areas.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…