EIA’s Drilling Productivity Report (DPR) for April has now been released. The DPR takes a fresh look at oil and natural gas production, starting with an assessment of how and where drilling for hydrocarbons is taking place. It uses recent data on the total number of drilling rigs in operation along with estimates of drilling productivity and estimated changes in production from existing oil and natural gas wells to provide estimated changes in oil and natural gas production for seven key fields.

EIA Drilling Productivity Report - April 2020 - fig 6 oilandgas360

Drilled but uncompleted wells (DUC)


Oil and Gas production by Region


New production per rig oil and gas


EIA Drilling Productivity Report - April 2020 - fig 1 oilandgas360

EIA Drilling Productivity Report - April 2020 - fig 5oilandgas360

EIA Drilling Productivity Report - April 2020 - fig 3 oilandgas360

EIA Drilling Productivity Report - April 2020 - fig 4 oilandgas360

EIA Drilling Productivity Report - April 2020 - fig 5oilandgas360

The Drilling Productivity Report uses recent data on the total number of drilling rigs in operation along with estimates of drilling productivity and estimated changes in production from existing oil and natural gas wells to provide estimated changes in oil1 and natural gas2 production for seven key regions. EIA’s approach does not distinguish between oil-directed rigs and gas-directed rigs because once a well is completed it may produce both oil and gas; more than half of the wells do that

Monthly additions from one average rig 

Monthly additions from one average rig represent EIA’s estimate of an average rig’s3 contribution to production of oil and natural gas from new wells.4 The estimation of new-well production per rig uses several months of recent historical data on total production from new wells for each field divided by the region's monthly rig count, lagged by two months.5 Current- and next-month values are listed on the top header. The month-over-month change is listed alongside, with +/- signs and color-coded arrows to highlight the growth or decline in oil (brown) or natural gas (blue).

New-well oil/gas production per rig 

Charts present historical estimated monthly additions from one average rig coupled with the number of total drilling rigs as reported by Baker Hughes.

Legacy oil and natural gas production change 

Charts present EIA’s estimates of total oil and gas production changes from all the wells other than the new wells. The trend is dominated by the well depletion rates, but other circumstances can influence the direction of the change. For example, well freeze-offs or hurricanes can cause production to significantly decline in any given month, resulting in a production increase the next month when production simply returns to normal levels

Projected change in monthly oil/gas production 

Charts present the combined effects of new-well production and changes to legacy production. Total new-well production is offset by the anticipated change in legacy production to derive the net change in production. The estimated change in production does not reflect external circumstances that can affect the actual rates, such as infrastructure constraints, bad weather, or shut-ins based on environmental or economic issues.

Oil/gas production 

Charts present all oil and natural gas production from both new and legacy wells since 2007. This production is based on all wells reported to the state oil and gas agencies. Where state data are not immediately available, EIA estimates the production based on estimated changes in new-well oil/gas production and the corresponding legacy change.


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