Permian Oil Output Forecast to Hit Record High in March

NEW YORK (Reuters) — Oil output in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico will rise 71,000 bpd to a record 5.205 MMbpd in March, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its productivity report on Monday.

Total output in the major U.S. shale oil basins will rise 109,000 bpd to 8.707 MMbpd in March, the most since March 2020, the EIA projected.

In the Bakken in North Dakota and Montana, the EIA projected oil output will rise 6,000 bpd to 1.198 million bpd in March, the most since November 2020.

In the Eagle Ford in South Texas, output will rise 24,000 bpd to 1.146 MMbpd in March, its highest since April 2020.

Total natural gas output in the shale basins will increase 0.5 Bcf/d to a record 91.7 Bcf/d in March, EIA projected.

Gas output in Appalachia, the biggest shale gas basin, will rise about 0.1 Bcf/d to a record 35.8 Bcf/d in March.

Gas output in both the Permian and the Haynesville in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas will rise to record highs of 20.4 Bcf/d and 14.5 Bcf/d in March, respectively.

But productivity in the biggest oil and gas basins has declined since hitting records of new oil well production per rig of 1,546 bpd in December 2020 in the Permian and new gas well production per rig of 33.3 MMcf/d in March 2021 in Appalachia.

In March, EIA expects new oil well production per rig will drop to 1,178 bpd in the Permian, the lowest since August 2020, and new gas well production per rig will drop to 30.4 MMcf/d in Appalachia, the lowest since October 2020.

The EIA said producers drilled 710 wells, the most since April 2020, and completed 901, the most since March 2020, in the biggest shale basins in January.

That left total drilled but uncompleted (DUC) wells down 191 to 4,466, the lowest since January 2014, and put the number of DUCs down for 19 months in a row.

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