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NatGas, Oil Production Out of Big Seven Plays to Increase Next Month, EIA Says

Natural gas and oil production from the nation's seven most prolific onshore unconventional plays will continue its 2017 upswing next month, according to data released Monday by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Natural gas production out of the Big Seven plays -- the Anadarko, Appalachian and Permian basins, and the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Haynesville and Niobrara shales -- is forecast to reach an estimated total of 60.94 Bcf/d in November from 60.11 Bcf/d in October, according to EIA's latest Drilling Productivity Report (DPR).

Gas production out of the plays, which was on a downward trend throughout 2016, returned to the upside in January and has been rising ever since, according to EIA.

Last month, EIA said it expected Hurricane Harvey to take a bite out of October Eagle Ford productivity, but overall production from the Big Seven plays was to increase.

EIA expects gas production to be higher in all seven plays in November month/month, with the Appalachian Basin leading the way with 25.69 Bcf/d, compared to 25.30 Bcf/d in October.

Also expected to post month/month increases in October are the Anadarko Basin (5.99 Bcf/d, from 5.96 Bcf/d), Bakken Shale (2.03 Bcf/d from 2.01 Bcf/d), Eagle Ford Shale (6.12 Bcf/d from 6.11 Bcf/d), Haynesville Shale (7.27 Bcf/d from 7.129 Bcf/d), Niobrara Shale (4.77 Bcf/d from 4.72 Bcf/d) and Permian Basin (9.06 Bcf/d from 8.91 Bcf/d).

At the same time, EIA said it expects total oil production in the seven plays will be an estimated 6.12 million b/d in November, compared to 6.04 million b/d in October, an increase of 81,000 b/d.

EIA forecast November oil production to be up from October in the Permian (2.66 million b/d), Eagle Ford (1.22 million b/d), Niobrara (515,000 b/d), Anadarko (474,000 b/d), Appalachia (107,000 b/d), and Bakken (1.10 million b/d). The Haynesville (45,000 b/d) is forecast to see oil production remain unchanged month/month in November.

Drilled but uncompleted (DUC) well counts as of the end of September totaled 7,270 in the seven regions, an increase of 179 from August, EIA said. The bulk of those wells were in the Permian, which saw an increase of 93 for the month to 2,416 DUCs, and in the Eagle Ford, which increased 43 to 1,444 DUCs.

The productivity of new oil wells in the plays is expected to decline marginally in November to 589 b/d, according to the DPR. New-well gas production per rig is expected to increase slightly, to 3.45 MMcf/d.

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