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Big Seven Production to Climb Higher in October, Despite Harvey's Impact, EIA Says

The Eagle Ford Shale will see small declines in oil and natural gas production in October compared to September, but total production out of the nation's seven most prolific onshore unconventional plays will still continue to increase, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Natural gas production out of the Big Seven plays -- the Anadarko, Appalachia, Bakken, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Niobrara and Permian -- is forecast to reach an estimated total of 59.75 Bcf/d in October, up from 59.0 Bcf/d in September, according to EIA's latest Drilling Productivity Report (DPR), released Monday. Gas production out of the plays, which was on a downward trend throughout 2016, returned to the upside in January and has been on the upswing ever since, according to EIA.

"In this update, the Eagle Ford productivity and production estimates are being revised down due to two factors: the production volumes from the source were revised down and the anticipated impact from Hurricane Harvey on the production, drilling, and completion activities in Southeast Texas," EIA said. "The volumetric revision also impacted the Permian region, but to a lesser degree."

EIA expects gas production to be higher in six of the seven plays in October month/month, with the Appalachian leading the way with 24.91 Bcf/d, compared to 24.56 Bcf/d in September. Also expected to post month/month increases in October are the Anadarko (6.00 Bcf/d, from 5.90 Bcf/d), Bakken (1.96 Bcf/d from 1.94 Bcf/d), Haynesville (7.03 Bcf/d from 6.89 Bcf/d), Niobrara (4.91 Bcf/d from 4.83 Bcf/d) and Permian (8.81 Bcf/d from 8.65 Bcf/d). At the same time, the Eagle Ford is expected to decline (6.17 Bcf/d from 6.19 Bcf/d),

On the oil side of the equation, EIA said it expects total production out of the seven plays will be an estimated 6.08 million b/d in October, compared to 6.00 million b/d in September, an increase of 79,000 b/d, despite the Eagle Ford declining to 1.27 million b/d from 1.28 million b/d.

EIA forecast October oil production to be up from September in the Permian (2.64 million b/d), Niobrara (511,000 b/d), Anadarko (463,000 b/d), Appalachia (99,000 b/d), and Bakken (1.06 million b/d). The Haynesville (46,000 b/d) is forecast to see oil production remain unchanged in October month/month.

Drilled but uncompleted (DUC) well counts as of the end of August totaled 7,048 in the seven regions, an increase of 231 from July, EIA said. The bulk of those wells were in the Permian, which saw an increase of 133 for the month to 2,297 DUCs.

The productivity of new oil wells in the plays is expected to decline marginally in October to 586 b/d, according to the DPR. New-well gas production per rig is also expected to decrease slightly, to 3.41 MMcf/d.

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