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Latest data from the US shale patch is sharply schizophrenic. Output continues to break new records – the total for seven key shale basins broke 8mn b/d for the first time in December with overall US crude output just shy of 12mn b/d. The US Government’s EIA forecasts further rises with crude output to average 13mn b/d for 2020, 18mn b/d including NGLs ( MEES, 15 March ). The key Permian basin is slated to hit 4mn b/d for the first time this month, according to the EIA’s latest Drilling Productivity Report.
But shorter-term the picture is not so rosy. US crude output flatlined at 11.9mn b/d over November-February (see data, MEES, 15 March ). Indeed, steady output is something of an achievement given that drilling activity has slumped: the US oil rig count was 834 on 8 March, a 10-month low. This meshes with the picture painted by services firms in their Q4 earnings calls: Paal Kibsgaard, CEO of the largest, Schlumberger, predicted “it’s going to be a fairly tough year in North America” ( MEES, 25 January ). (CONTINUED - 2068 WORDS)
DATA INSIDE THIS ARTICLE
|chart||1: Oxy Net Permian Liquids Output Hit 348,000 B/D In Q4, Up 28% Year-On-Year (‘000 B/D)|
|chart||2: More With Less? Apache Expects To Top 2014’s Previous Permian Oil Output High This Year With A Fraction Of The Rigs|