Natural gas production from seven key U.S. regions is set to fall by 316 MMcf/d from March to April, extending a downward trajectory in projected output from the domestic plays that goes back to early last year, according to new data published Monday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Combined output from the Anadarko, Appalachian and Permian basins, as well as from the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Haynesville and Niobrara formations, is set to fall from around 82.9 Bcf/d in March to slightly under 82.6 Bcf/d in April, EIA said in its latest Drilling Productivity Report (DPR). 

Broken down by region, month/month declines are expected from the Anadarko (down 126 MMcf/d), Appalachia (down 149 MMcf/d), the Bakken (down 44 MMcf/d), the Eagle Ford (down 65,000 MMcf/d) and the Niobrara (down 72 MMcf/d).

Bucking the trend, the Haynesville is expected to grow output by 119 MMcf/d from March to April, with natural gas output from the Permian set to grow 21 MMcf/d month/month, agency estimates show.

Oil output from the seven regions is set to decline by a combined 46,000 b/d month/month to 7,458,000 b/d, according to the DPR data.

The Permian is set to grow output by 11,000 b/d from March to April, while declines are expected across the Anadarko (down 14,000 b/d), Appalachia (down 1,000 b/d), the Bakken (down 12,000 b/d), the Eagle Ford (down 15,000 b/d) and the Niobrara (down 15,000 b/d).

The backlog of drilled but uncompleted wells (DUC) declined by 102 across the seven regions from January to February, the latest DPR data show. The Niobrara drew down its DUC backlog by 30 wells, while the Bakken and Eagle Ford each depleted 22 DUCs month/month. Appalachia saw a decline of 14 in its DUC count, while the Anadarko count declined by 13.

The Haynesville DUC total increased by one to 314 as of February, while the Permian saw a small decline of two DUCs, lowering its backlog to 3,273, according to EIA estimates.

New-well natural gas production per rig is expected to fall 80 Mcf/d on average across the seven regions, including a projected decline of 227 Mcf/d per rig in the Niobrara. Appalachia new-well production per rig is expected to grow by 274 Mcf/d from March to April.

EIA expects new-well oil production per rig to fall 15 b/d on average across the seven regions from March to April, including a 74 b/d decline in new-well production per rig in the Niobrara. Permian new-well production is set to decline by 33 b/d per rig month/month, the agency said.

The DPR uses recent data on the total number of drilling rigs in operation, along with estimates of drilling productivity and estimated changes in production from existing wells to model changes in production from the seven regions.