Natural gas and oil production from seven of the most prolific U.S. onshore unconventional plays continues to increase, but for a second consecutive month will grow by less than 1%, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Total natural gas production from the Anadarko, Appalachian and Permian basins, and the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Haynesville and Niobrara formations, is expected to increase by 77 MMcf in January from December, EIA said in its latest Drilling Productivity Report (DPR), which was released Monday.
EIA expects increases in five of the seven plays, including the Permian with a forecasted 17.08 Bcf/d, up from 16.86 Bcf/d in December. EIA also expects increases in the Haynesville (12.09 Bcf/d from 11.96 Bcf/d) and the Niobrara (5.59 Bcf/d from 5.58 Bcf/d), along with a marginal increase in the Bakken (3.12 Bcf/d).
Month-to-month decreases in gas production are expected in the Appalachian Basin (33.43 Bcf/d in January, compared with 33.51 Bcf/d in December) and the Eagle Ford Shale (6.76 Bcf/d from 6.84 Bcf/d).
Total oil production from the seven plays overall is expected to increase by about 30,000 b/d to 9.14 million b/d in January. EIA said it expects increases in oil production month/month from the Permian (4.74 million b/d, compared with 4.69 million b/d in December) and marginal increases in the Appalachia, Bakken and Niobrara, with the Haynesville unchanged at 39,000 b/d. The Eagle Ford is expected to produce 1.36 million b/d in January, a 9,000 b/d decrease compared with December, EIA said.
EIA has reported consecutive month-to-month increases out of the seven plays since January 2017, when total gas production was about 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 November at 7,574, a decrease of 131 from October, EIA said. DUCs decreased in five plays, with the Anadarko down by 58 to 679, Appalachia down by 25 to 472, Eagle Ford down by 24 to 1,397, Niobrara down by 10 to 490, and Permian down by 20 to 3,559. The Bakken added two DUCs to reach 760, and the Haynesville added four to 217.
The productivity of new gas wells in the Big Seven plays is expected to decrease by 94 Mcf/d in January to 4.09 MMcf/d. At the same time, new well oil production per rig is expected to increase by 12 b/d during the month to 833 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.