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What slowdown? EIA projects shale production to surpass 9 million bbl/d

Oil and gas producers may be cutting back on their growth targets, but the U.S. Energy Information Administration is projecting shale oil production will come close to eclipsing 9 million barrels per day in November.

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In its monthly drilling productivity report, the EIA predicted that oil production from unconventional plays will reach 8.97 million bbl/d in November, an increase of 850,000 bbl/d from 12 months earlier. The EIA also projects natural gas production will exceed 84 Bcf/d in November, with well over one-third of that amount coming from Appalachia.

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The report indicates continued production growth in the Permian Basin, with the EIA expecting oil production to exceed 6.4 million bbl/d for the first time ever in November. Natural gas production, largely associated gas from oil production, could surpass 16 Bcf/d a day in the Permian for the first time.

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Other regions, however, are showing clear signs of a slowdown. The EIA is projecting oil production of less than 541,000 bbl/d and gas production of 7.34 Bcf/d in the Anadarko Basin in November, which would signify a multimonth decline. In April, the region reached production levels of more than 586,000 bbl/d and 7.7 Bcf/d, but has seen the numbers drop at an increasing rate over the past couple of months.

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The EIA is projecting a slower, but still noticeable, decline in production in the Eagle Ford Shale to continue through November. After hovering around 1.39 million bbl/d of oil production from June to August, the EIA is projecting production of closer to 1.37 million bbl/d in November. Gas production, which reached 6.92 Bcf/d in August, is expected to slip to closer to 6.85 Bcf/d in November.

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On the other end of the spectrum, the Haynesville Shale continues its renaissance from a forgotten play to a gas giant. The EIA projects the Haynesville to exceed production of 11.8 Bcf/d for the first time in November, as the play continues to benefit from more cost-efficient drilling and proximity to LNG facilities on the Gulf Coast.

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The combination of gas production from the Permian and the Haynesville still does not reach that of Appalachia, where production growth continues with no slowdown in sight. The EIA expects the region will surpass the 33 Bcf/d production plateau in October, and continue to rise to nearly 33.3 Bcf/d in November.