The long-standing, steady upward trend of natural gas and oil production increases out of the United States' seven most prolific onshore unconventional plays will continue in June, with gas output surpassing 80 Bcf/d and oil nearing 8.50 million b/d, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
It would be the 30th consecutive month of combined month-to-month increases out of the Anadarko, Appalachian and Permian basins, and the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Haynesville and Niobrara formations. EIA has been reporting increases since January 2017, when the plays' total gas production was estimated at 47.51 Bcf/d, and total oil production was an estimated 4.54 million b/d.
Total natural gas production from the seven plays is expected to reach 80.66 Bcf/d next month, compared to an estimated 79.72 Bcf/d in May, according to EIA's latest Drilling Productivity Report (DPR), which was released Monday.
Natural gas production increases are expected in five of the seven regions in June, with the Appalachian Basin forecast to produce 32.11 Bcf/d versus 31.74 in May, according to the DPR. EIA also expects increases in the Bakken (2.79 Bcf/d from 2.76 Bcf/d), Haynesville (11.36 Bcf/d from 11.07 Bcf/d), Niobrara (5.60 Bcf/d from 5.54 Bcf/d) and Permian (14.41 Bcf/d from 14.17 Bcf/d). The Anadarko (7.52 Bcf/d) and Eagle Ford (6.88 Bcf/d) are both expected to see slight declines.
At the same time, oil production is expected to increase in four of the seven regions to a total of almost 8.50 million b/d from an estimated 8.41 million b/d this month. EIA expects production in Appalachia next month to be 133,000 b/d (from 129,000 b/d this month), Bakken 1.42 million b/d (from 1.40 million b/d), Niobrara 752,000 b/d (from 738,000 b/d), and Permian 4.17 million b/d (from 4.12 million b/d). The Anadarko is expected to decline marginally month/month to 558,000 b/d and the Eagle Ford to 1.43 million b/d, while the Haynesville (43,000 b/d) is forecast to see oil production remain unchanged month/month.
Drilled but uncompleted (DUC) well counts across the Big Seven ended April at 8,390, a decrease of 43 from March, EIA said.
The bulk of the DUCs remain in the Permian, which increased 47 in April to 3,964, and in the Eagle Ford, which declined by 22 to 1,488. Five Big Seven plays saw their DUC numbers decrease from March: the Anadarko (minus 26), Appalachia (minus 19), Bakken (minus 12) Eagle Ford (minus 22) and Niobrara (minus 13).
The productivity of new oil wells in the Big Seven plays is expected to increase in June to 703 b/d, according to the DPR. New-well gas production per rig is also expected to increase during the month to 4.02 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.