Rigs, efficiency both up

EnerCom has released the latest Effective Rig Count, examining the state of drilling activity in major shale basins.

The Effective Rig Count rose once again in December, growing from 2,345 to 2,429. Increasing rig count combined with heightening efficiency to produce the largest single-month increase in EERC since July.

Operations in major shale basins are now yielding nearly three times as much production as those in January 2014; production from a modern rig is triple that of a pre-downturn rig. More precise drilling and more intense completions have allowed companies to produce more using fewer rigs.

EnerCom Effective Rig Count Breaks 2,400

Source: EnerCom Analytics

Efficiency reached a peak in mid-2016, when companies were completing more wells than they were drilling. As activity began to pick up once again, completions began to lag behind, reducing efficiency. However service companies are beginning to catch up, and the steady march of technology continues to improve wells.

Efficiency was most improved in the Eagle Ford this month, as operations are now 2.3 times as efficient as those in January 2014. There are 183 Effective Rigs in the basin, compared to a reported 80.

EnerCom Effective Rig Count Breaks 2,400

Source: EnerCom Analytics

Permian still king

The Permian is, as usual, the largest basin in the country in terms of effective and reported rig count. Efficiency improvements and higher activity mean the basin’s Effective Rig Count grew from 1,185 to 1,231 in December.

EnerCom Effective Rig Count Breaks 2,400

Source: EnerCom Analytics

Shale production growth accelerating in February

The EIA predicts that the major shale basins will accelerate growth from January to February, with combined production rising by nearly 260 MBOEPD, compared to 221 MBOEPD from December to January. The Permian continues to dominate oil growth, adding 76 MBOPD.

Unlike last month, the Eagle Ford is predicted to add the second-most oil production from January to February. The basin seems to have fully recovered from Hurricane Harvey, and is showing strong growth again.

Gas production is dominated by Appalachia, the Haynesville and the Permian, which make up 88% of all gas growth. Like last month, gas production in the Anadarko is predicted to decrease by 11 MMcf/d, the only drop in production of any type among the major basins.

DUC count falling in three major basins

The number of drilled uncompleted wells rose significantly faster in December than in November. The EIA estimates there are now 7,493 DUCs in the country, 156 more than last month. This increase is higher than the 94 added in November, but falls short of the 192 added per month from March to October.

The Permian added 137 DUCs, and now accounts for 2,777 uncompleted wells. DUC count also increased significantly in the Eagle Ford, which now has an additional 36 uncompleted wells. Three plays saw completions exceed drilling in December, the Niobrara, Bakken and Appalachia. These three basins knocked off a combined 30 DUCs in the month.

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