Consecutive month-to-month production increases from the nation's seven most prolific onshore unconventional plays, now well into their third year, will bring natural gas output to 81.60 Bcf/d and oil to 8.77 million b/d, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Monday.
Total oil production from the seven plays -- the Anadarko, Appalachian and Permian basins, and the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Haynesville and Niobrara formations -- is expected to increase 85,000 b/d compared with this month, EIA said in its latest Drilling Productivity Report (DPR).
EIA expects production in Appalachia next month to be 146,000 b/d (compared with 142,000 b/d this month), 1.44 million b/d in the Bakken (from 1.43 million b/d), 758,000 b/d in the Niobrara (from 746,000 b/d), and 4.42 million b/d in the Permian (from 4.35 million b/d).
Oil production is expected to decline slightly in the Anadarko to 579,000 b/d in September, compared with 582,000 b/d in August, and in the Eagle Ford, to 1.38 million b/d from 1.39 million b/d. The Haynesville (43,000 b/d) is forecast to see oil production remain unchanged month/month.
On the natural gas side of the ledger, EIA expects increases in five of the seven plays, with the Appalachian Basin leading the way as usual, with a forecasted 32.61 Bcf/d versus 32.24 in August. EIA also expects increases in the Bakken (2.95 Bcf/d from 2.94 Bcf/d), Haynesville (11.32 Bcf/d from 11.19 Bcf/d), Niobrara (5.62 Bcf/d from 5.57 Bcf/d) and Permian (14.86 Bcf/d from 14.62 Bcf/d).
The Eagle Ford is expected to decrease slightly, to 6.73 Bcf/d from 6.75 Bcf, and the Anadarko is expected to decline to 7.51 Bcf/d from 7.56 Bcf/d.
EIA has been reporting consecutive month-to-month increases out of the plays since January 2017, when their total gas production was estimated at 47.51 Bcf/d, and total oil production was an estimated 4.54 million b/d.
Drilled but uncompleted (DUC) well counts across the Big Seven ended July at 8,108, a decrease of 100 from June, EIA said. DUCs decreased in every play except the Permian, which increased nine in July to 3,999.
DUCs decreased in the Anadarko (down 32 to 904), Appalachia (down 16 to 422), Bakken (down 18 to 675), Eagle Ford (down 13 to 1,504), Haynesville (down 7 to 182) and Niobrara (down 23 to 422).
The productivity of new oil wells in the Big Seven plays is expected to increase in September to 767 b/d, according to the DPR. At the same time, new well gas production per rig is expected to increase during the month to 4.18 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.