Natural gas production from seven of the most prolific onshore U.S. unconventional plays is likely to decline in April compared with March, and oil production will remain nearly unchanged, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Total gas production from the Anadarko, Appalachian and Permian basins, and the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Haynesville and Niobrara formations, is expected to be 85.17 Bcf/d next month, compared with 84.98 Bcf/d in April, according to EIA’s latest Drilling Productivity Report (DPR), which was released Monday.
Declines in gas production are expected next month in the Anadarko (7.20 Bcf/d, compared with 7.34 Bcf/d), Appalachia (32.56 Bcf/d, compared with 32.79 Bcf/d), and Niobrara (5.70 Bcf/d, compared with 5.71 Bcf/d), along with a marginal decrease in the Bakken (3.07 Bcf/d).
Output from the Eagle Ford (6.85 Bcf/d) and Haynesville (12.45 Bcf/d) is expected to remain virtually unchanged, and EIA expects an increase from the Permian (17.17 Bcf/d, compared with 16.96 Bcf/d).
Total oil production from the seven plays is expected to increase by only 18,000 b/d in April from March, about the same amount of increase EIA predicted in the previous DPR. EIA said it expects the plays to produce 9.08 million b/d in April, with the Permian the only play expected to see a month/month increase (4.79 million b/d, compared with 4.76 million b/d this month).
Decreases in oil production are expected in the Anadarko (517,000 b/d, compared with 527,000 b/d) and Niobrara (766,000 b/d, compared with 774,000 b/d). The Appalachia (149,000 b/d), Bakken (1.47 million b/d), Eagle Ford (1.34 million b/d) and Haynesville (39,000 b/d) are expected to be unchanged month/month.
Drilled but uncompleted (DUC) well counts across the Big Seven ended February at 7,637, a decrease of 60 from January, EIA said. DUCs decreased in five plays, with the Anadarko down by 49 to 703, Appalachia down by nine to 565, the Eagle Ford down by 13 to 1,360, the Haynesville down by one to 230, and the Niobrara down by 12 to 445. The Bakken added 13 DUCs to reach 852 and the Permian added 11 to reach 3,482.
The productivity of new gas wells in the Big Seven plays is expected to decrease by 37 Mcf/d in April to 3.81 MMcf/d. At the same time, new well oil production per rig is expected to increase by 14 b/d during the month to 856 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.