EIA: US shale oil output to plunge 118,000 b/d in December

Crude oil production in December from seven major US shale plays is expected to drop 118,000 b/d to 4.95 million b/d, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s latest Drilling Productivity Report (DPR). The agency projected a 93,000-b/d decline for November (OGJ Online, Oct. 13, 2015).

The DPR focuses on the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Marcellus, Niobrara, Permian, and Utica, which altogether accounted for 95% of US oil production increases and all US natural gas production increases during 2011-13.

The Eagle Ford has represented a bulk of the projected oil output losses since EIA began anticipating monthly declines from US shale during the spring. For December, EIA expects Eagle Ford production to fall 78,000 b/d to 1.28 million b/d. The Bakken is projected to drop 27,000 b/d to 1.11 million b/d, and the Niobrara is projected to fall 22,000 b/d to 356,000 b/d.

Continued growth is seen in the Permian, which is projected to rise 11,000 b/d to 2.02 million b/d.

New-well oil production/rig across the seven plays is expected to increase by a rig-weighted average of 7 b/d in December to 473 b/d. The Niobrara is again seen leading the way with an 18-b/d jump to 652, while the Utica is seen rising 11 b/d to 269.

December natural gas production from the seven plays is projected to drop 394 MMcfd to 44.29 bcfd, EIA says. The bulk of that decline is again expected to come in the Marcellus, which is seen losing 229 MMcfd to 15.66 bcfd. Substantial losses are also projected for the Eagle Ford, down 160 MMcfd to 6.53 bcfd; and Niobrara, down 61 MMcfd to 4.18 bcfd.

The Utica is expected to increase 66 MMcfd to 3.13 bcfd.

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