Oil production from the United States’ seven most prolific onshore unconventional plays is expected to be greater than 8.50 million b/d in July as the plays record their 31st consecutive month-to-month increase, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Total production from the seven plays is expected to reach 8.52 million b/d next month, compared to an estimated 8.45 million b/d in June, according to EIA’s latest Drilling Productivity Report (DPR), which was released Monday.
Oil production is expected to increase in four of the seven regions, led by the Permian Basin with 4.23 million b/d, compared to 4.17 million b/d in June. Increases are also expected month/month in the Appalachia (138,000 b/d in July from 134,000 b/d in June), Bakken Shale (1.44 million b/d from 1.43 million b/d) and Niobrara formation (730,000 b/d from 720,000 b/d).
The Anadarko is expected to decline marginally month/month to 554,000 b/d, as is the Eagle Ford Shale (to 1.39 million b/d). The Haynesville Shale (43,000 b/d) is forecast to see oil production remain unchanged month/month.
Total natural gas production from the seven plays is expected to reach 81.36 Bcf/d next month, compared to an estimated 80.56 Bcf/d in June, EIA said.
Gas production increases are expected in five of the seven regions, with the Appalachian Basin forecast to produce 32.44 Bcf/d versus 32.10 in June, according to the DPR. EIA also expects increases in the Bakken (2.98 Bcf/d from 2.96 Bcf/d), Haynesville (11.52 Bcf/d from 11.30 Bcf/d), Niobrara (5.55 Bcf/d from 5.50 Bcf/d) and Permian (14.69 Bcf/d from 14.46 Bcf/d).
The Anadarko is expected to decline to 7.39 Bcf/d in July from 7.44 Bcf/d in June. and the Eagle Ford is expected to decline to 6.80 Bcf/d from 6.82 Bcf/d.
EIA has been reporting consecutive month-to-month increases out of the plays since January 2017, when their total gas production was estimated at 47.51 Bcf/d, and total oil production was an estimated 4.54 million b/d.
Drilled but uncompleted (DUC) well counts across the Big Seven ended May at 8,283, a decrease of 77 from April, EIA said.
The bulk of the DUCs remain in the Permian, which increased 41 in May to 3,971, and in the Eagle Ford, which declined by 24 to 1,455. Five other Big Seven plays also saw their DUC numbers decrease from April: the Anadarko (minus 33), Appalachia (minus 24), Bakken (minus 17) and Niobrara (minus 18).
The productivity of new oil wells in the Big Seven plays is expected to increase in July to 716 b/d, according to the DPR. At the same time, new-well gas production per rig is expected to decrease during the month to 4.00 MMcf/d.
EIA compiles the DPR using recent U.S. data on the total number of drilling rigs in operation along with estimates of drilling productivity and estimated changes in output from existing wells to provide estimated changes in production.