US Shale Output Soars But Permian Productivity Falling

The latest US shale output figures indicate continued strong growth. But for Texas’ key Permian basin growth may be set to slow. Though the rig count continues to rise, productivity is falling whilst both productivity and output figures for recent months have been revised sharply down.

The latest Drilling Productivity Report (DPR) of the US government’s Energy Information Administration, released 12 June, indicates that the EIA expects collective output from seven key US shale formations to continue growing strongly in June and July, with the Permian leading the way.

But productivity for new Permian wells is falling – indicative of the fact that as drilling activity has ramped up rapidly, lower quality rigs are being pressed into service and drilling has moved beyond the ‘sweet spots’.

Having peaked at 704 b/d last August “new-well oil production per rig” the EIA’s key productivity metric has fallen for every month since, to 627 in May and a projected 617 and 602 in June and July respectively. The latter figure would take productivity back to numbers last seen in March 2016, though it remains at three times 2014 levels. (CONTINUED - 1201 WORDS)


chart Permian: Drilling Productivity Falling As Rig Count Rises
chart Eagle Ford: Productivity Steady Despite Doubling Of Rig Count Over Last 5 Months
chart Bakken: Rig Count Remains At Just 20% Of 2012 Peak 
chart Overall US Shale Output* Revised Down In EIA’s Latest DPR But Set To Hit Mar15 Record In July
chart Permian Output Revised Down By Average Of 75,000 B/D For Mar-Jun, But At All-Time High
chart Eagle Ford: Succession Of Upward Revisions But Still 500,000 B/D Down On 2015 Record High
chart US Crude Month-On Month Output Changes (‘000 B/D): Shale Output Is Set To Rise By 675,000 B/D In First 7 Months Of 2017, Outstripping The Overall 613,000 B/D Increase
chart US Shale Oil Output Forecast To Hit New All-Time High In July (Mn B/D)