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US shale energy production expected to set new record in November

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US shale energy production expected to set new record in November

The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects shale output of natural gas and crude oil will set a new record November, with gas output climbing for the eighth consecutive month to come in 13.4% above the same month a year earlier.

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The latest installment of the "Drilling Productivity Report" published by the EIA on Oct. 16 showed that total output of natural gas across seven key shale plays is likely to climb 1.4% in November versus the previous month, to 60.94 Bcf/d.

That follows a 1.4% increase in October from the September level of 59.25 Bcf/d.

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The EIA expects all seven of the shale formations it tracks to show increases versus the prior month in November, with Appalachia increasing the most on a volume basis with a gain of 397.9 MMcf/d, followed by the Permian with an increase of 153.5 MMcf/d.

On a percentage basis, the Haynesville leads with a 2.1% increase, followed by the Permian with a gain of 1.7%.

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The EIA projects shale production of crude oil will climb 1.4% from the prior month in November to 6.12 MMbbl/d, for year-over-year growth of 15.8%.

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The agency expects all seven shale plays to experience oil production increases versus the prior month in November.

On a volume basis, the Permian leads all the shale plays with an increase of 50.5 Mbbl/d, while the Niobrara trails second with a gain of 9.2 Mbbl/d.

On a percentage basis, production growth in Appalachia leads at 3.0% and the Permian and Anadarko plays follow with increases of 1.9%.

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Versus last month's report, the EIA raised its October shale gas output estimate by 258.4 MMcf/d to 60.11 Bcf/d. At the same time, the agency lowered its October shale oil production estimate by 51.1 Mbbl/d versus last month to 6.04 MMbbl/d.

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The number of drilled but uncompleted wells climbed by 179 from the prior month to reach 7,270 in September, with DUC figures for August revised upward by 43 to 7,091.

The Permian gained the most DUCs in September as it added 93 wells, followed by the Eagle Ford with an increase of 43 wells.

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While shale resources and production are found in many parts of the U.S., the EIA's drilling productivity report focuses on the seven most prolific areas, which are in the Lower 48.