DUCs: Mid-Continent Plays See Spike in Drilled, Uncompleted Wells, Declines Elsewhere

Bloomberg Intelligence has released its updated counts of drilled, uncompleted wells. Total DUCs were estimated to stand at 3581 on September 1, a decrease of 196 since January and a decrease of 275 since September 2015.

Since April however, the U.S. total has held essentially steady, with 6 net DUCs added. While the overall trend in DUCs has been downward since the beginning of 2015, Texas has seen major DUC increases since April, with counts in the Eagle Ford and Permian increasing by 38 and 112.

DUCs: Mid-Continent Plays See Spike in Drilled but Uncompleted Wells, Declines Elsewhere

Bakken and Niobrara inventories both peaked in April and have since fallen by 53 and 29. The Woodford continues to attract the attention of drillers hungry for quick cash flow, only adding 6 DUCs since the beginning of the year.

The Permian has been the big story this year, with acreage fetching valuations as high as $60,000 per acre and USGS upgrading its total oil resource estimates for the Midland Wolfcamp horizons to 20 Billion barrels.

Bloomberg Intelligence breaks out the number of DUCs targeting different horizons in the Permian.

DUCs: Mid-Continent Plays See Spike in Drilled but Uncompleted Wells, Declines Elsewhere

Since April, DUCs targeting the Midland Wolfberry, a combination play of the Wolfcamp shale, consisting of interbedded shale and sandstone, and the Spraberry sandstone with shale / mudstone and limestone intervals, have shot up by 80, the most notable increase in the data. Oil & Gas 360® hopes to gain greater insight on the factors driving these trends.

The Wolfcamp, an older horizon extending across both the Delaware and Midland Basins has increased fairly consistently since January, with 20 total added in that time. The Strawn/Atoka has also seen an uptick of 25 since April.

In contrast, inventory in the Delaware’s Bone Spring / Avalon formations has fallen by 37 since January, although there has been a slight uptick since June. Permian DUCs targeting other horizons in the Midland and Delaware have held steady since May but have increased by 11 this year.

Gas DUCs Being Slowly Drawn Down

Drawdowns have also begun on the gas side, with the Marcellus and Utica decreasing by 46 and 16 since the beginning of the year. Marcellus drawdowns since May totaled 33 while no DUCs have been tapped in the Utica since then.

DUCs: Mid-Continent Plays See Spike in Drilled but Uncompleted Wells, Declines Elsewhere

The Rockies, Haynesville, and Barnett DUC counts seem to be holding steady this year, increasing, or decreasing in the case of the Barnett, by less than 10. The Rockies category includes the Uinta, Piceance, and Green River Basins.

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