Production out of the United State's most prolific onshore unconventional plays will continue its longstanding upward trend in October, with natural gas output reaching 82.36 Bcf/d and oil 8.84 million b/d, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
EIA has been reporting consecutive month-to-month increases out of the seven 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.
If that forecast holds true, total gas production next month from the seven plays -- the Anadarko, Appalachian and Permian basins, and the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Haynesville and Niobrara formations -- would be up 0.6% compared with 81.89 Bcf/d this month, EIA said in its latest Drilling Productivity Report (DPR), which was released Monday.
EIA expects increases in five of the seven plays, with the Appalachian Basin the front runner as usual, with a forecasted 32.81 Bcf/d versus 32.62 in September. EIA also expects increases in the Bakken (up marginally to 3.00 Bcf/d), Haynesville (11.56 Bcf/d from 11.46 Bcf/d), Niobrara (5.70 Bcf/d from 5.65 Bcf/d) and Permian (15.14 Bcf/d from 14.92 Bcf/d).
The Eagle Ford is expected to produce 6.73 Bcf/d in October, down from 6.78 Bcf/d in September, and the Anadarko is expected to decline to 7.41 Bcf/d from 7.51 Bcf/d.
Total oil production from the plays is expected to increase about 0.8% compared with 8.77 million b/d in September. EIA said it expects increases in oil production month/month from four of the seven plays: including Appalachia (155,000 b/d, compared with 151,000 b/d); Niobrara (767,000 b/d, compared with 755,000 b/d), Permian (4.49 million b/d, compared with 4.41 million b/d), and a marginal increase in the Bakken (1.47 million b/d). The Eagle Ford is forecast to produce 1.37 million b/d, compared with 1.38 million b/d in September, and the Anadarko will produce 549,000 b/d, down from 558,000 b/d.
Drilled but uncompleted (DUC) well counts across the Big Seven ended August at 7,950, a decrease of 142 from July, EIA said. DUCs decreased in every play except the Haynesville, which increased by two in August to 186.
DUCs decreased in the Anadarko (down 46 to 860), Appalachia (down a dozen to 517), Bakken (down 22 to 652), Eagle Ford (down 16 to 1,458), Niobrara (down 23 to 438) and Permian (down 25 to 3,839).
The productivity of new gas wells in the Big Seven plays is expected to decrease in October to 4.12 MMcf/d. New well oil production per rig, on the other hand, is expected to increase during the month to 776 b/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.