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EIA report predicts production to drop in every region except the Marcellus and the Permian

The Energy Information Administration released its monthly drilling report Monday forecasting production will fall throughout many of the basins in the United States in November compared to this month, even as new rigs continue to produce more on a per-rig basis. The report, called the Drilling Productivity Report, showed new-well production per rig will increase in every region covered in the report, while actual production is only forecasted to increase in the Marcellus and the Permian.

Efficiencies in oil drilling will show up primarily in the Niobrara and the Bakken, where new-well oil production per rig is expected to increase by 27 and 23 barrels, respectively. Improvement to Bakken new-well efficiency will especially notable on the gas side, with new wells producing 173 Mcf/d more in November than in October, the EIA said.

New-well production by region

Source: EIA

Even with the improvement in individual new-well production, the EIA anticipates that overall production in the United States will continue to fall next month. Total oil production is expected to drop by 30 MBOPD while gas production falls 178 MMcf/d, according to the agency.

Two exceptions are expected to declining production in the U.S., however. The Permian is expected to produce 30 MBOPD more oil, and 58 MMcf/d more gas, while the EIA’s forecast calls for 73 MMcf/d more gas from the Marcellus next month. The Permian continue to attract new capital, even as WTI remains around $50 per barrel, and gas is becoming more attractive all across the country as natural gas prices remain above $3.00 per MMBtu.

Forecast total production by region for November

Source: EIA

Declining DUCs

While the production portion of the EIA’s report forecasts forward one month, the agency has also started to include a look at the number of drilled uncompleted (DUC) wells for the current and previous month. The EIA reported that the number of DUCs declined 27 from August to September with higher levels of completed wells in most parts of the country offset in part by a 52 well increase in DUCs in the Permian. Oil & Gas 360® has analyzed DUC counts from numerous sources in recent months, primarily finding a lack in consistent measurement.

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