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Permian oil growth to slow to rate last seen in 2016: EIA

Washington — Permian oil production is currently growing but at the slowest rate in more than two years, the US Energy Information Administration said Tuesday.

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In its monthly Drilling Productivity Report, EIA forecast Permian oil production to grow 23,000 b/d from 3.831 million b/d in January to 3.854 million b/d in February. That would be the lowest rate of monthly growth the EIA has forecast for the Permian since September 2016 when it said that Permian oil output would climb 22,000 b/d from September to 1.999 million b/d in October.

New oil production per rig in the Permian is expected to average 555,000 b/d in February, the same average as in January and down from a peak of 758,000 b/d per rig average reached in August 2016, according to the data.

Eagle Ford oil production is expected to average 1.438 million b/d in February, up from 1.427 million b/d in January, EIA said.

Bakken crude output is forecast to average 1.418 million b/d in February, up from 1.409 million b/d in January, EIA said.

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Overall US shale oil production is forecast to climb 62,000 b/d from January to 8.179 million b/d in February, EIA said.

In its Short-Term Energy Outlook last week, EIA forecast US oil production to average 12.07 million b/d in 2019, up from 10.93 million b/d in 2018. US output is then forecast to climb to 12.86 million b/d in 2020.

In its report Tuesday, EIA said it expects US shale natural gas production to average nearly 77.6 Bcf/d in February, up about 0.85 Bcf/d from January, when output averaged just over 76.7 Bcf/d. Gas output growth in February will be led by Appalachian output, which will grow by 0.23 Bcf/d to nearly 31.6 Bcf/d from January, and by the Permian, where gas output will grow by more than 0.22 Bcf/d to about 13.2 Bcf/d in February, EIA said.

Drilled but uncompleted wells in US shale plays climbed to 8,594 wells in December, up from 8,376 wells in November, EIA reported Tuesday. The Permian had 4,048 drilled but uncompleted wells in December, up 205 from November, both the largest increase and highest number of such wells in any US shale play. Appalachia, Bakken and Niobrara all saw the number of drilled but uncompleted wells reduced from November to December, but only by 41 total wells, EIA said.

-- Brian Scheid,

-- Edited by Jennifer Pedrick,