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U.S. Onshore Natural Gas, Oil Continue to Surge, Says EIA

Domestic natural gas and oil production from the seven biggest basins in the onshore is predicted to move higher in March from February in nearly every field, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Monday.

The Drilling Productivity Report (DPR) provides EIA’s forecast production gains or losses month/month from the Anadarko, Appalachia and Permian basins, as well as the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Haynesville and Niobrara formations. Production overall has moved higher in the onshore since January 2017.

The DPR uses recent 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 for the seven key regions.

Natural gas production across the seven plays is predicted to increase by 832 MMcf/d month/month (m/m) to 64,941 MMcf/d, while oil production is expected to increase by 110,000 b/d to 6.756 million b/d.

Month/month (m/m), Appalachia’s total gas production leads the way, increasing by 321 MMcf/d in March to 27,150 MMcf/d. The Permian is in second, rising by 216 MMcf/d to 9,970 MMcf/d. Haynesville gas production should increase m/m by 189 MMcf/d to 8,095 MMcf/d, while the Eagle Ford is forecast to see a 62 MMcf/d gain to 6,518 MMcf/d.

The Niobrara’s gas output is forecast to be 47 MMcf/d higher in March at 4,860 MMcf/d, while Bakken gas is predicted to see a gain of 28 MMcf/d to 2,248 MMcf/d. Anadarko gas output overall should decline from February by 31 MMcf/d to 6,100 MMcf/d.

The DPR also details the drilled but uncompleted (DUC) well count in January compared to December. It found that 121 wells were added m/m to total 7,609. Most of the DUCs were in the Permian, up 112 from December to 2,880, followed by the Eagle Ford with 33 more DUCs to 1,511, and the Anadarko with five more DUCs to 1,029. There also were 748 DUCs in Appalachia, down four from December; 721 in the Bakken, down three m/m; 553 in the Niobrara, down 23; and 167 in the Haynesville, which was one more than in December.

For each new well added, the DPR is also predicting strong oil and gas gains in nearly every basin.

In the Anadarko, gas from new-well production is expected to hit 2,696 MMcf/d, up 19 MMcf m/m, while oil should gain by 5 b/d to 397 b/d. Appalachia gas output is set to rise by 113 MMcf/d m/m to 14,908 MMcf/d, while oil is forecast to move 1 b/d higher to 145 b/d in March.

Bakken gas output is seen up 25 MMcf/d in March to 1,732 MMcf/d, while oil output is seen rising by 17 b/d to 1,421 b/d. In the Eagle Ford, EIA expects gas production in March to increase by 280 MMcf/dm/m to 5,409 MMcf/d, while oil output is expected to increase by 58 b/d to 1,345 b/d.

In the Haynesville region, gas production is expected to increase from new wells m/m by 3 MMcf/d to 8,140 MMcf/d, while oil output should be flat at 25 b/d.

The Niobrara formation is expected to see a m/m gain for natural gas of 25 MMcf/d to 4,342 MMcf/d, while oil output from the Colorado play is seen rising by 11 b/d to 1,144 b/d.

In the Permian, gas output is forecast to remain flat at 1,186 MMcf/d, as is oil production at 632 b/d.

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