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About 15% of US crude output remains offline after freeze-offs: S&P Global Platts


3.4 million b/d is back online; 600,000 b/d is offline

Permian Basin still down 12% overall; sub-basins differ

Rocky Mountains basins have all production restored

Houston — Much of US oil production has rebounded from the severe winter weather that struck much of the country starting the week of Feb. 14, including large domestic oil plays in Texas and Oklahoma, although an estimated 15% of all crude output still remains offline.

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That means 3.4 million b/d have been restored of an estimated 4 million b/d that were shut in at peak early last week, Parker Fawcett, North American supply analyst for S&P Global Platts Analytics, said.

The shut-ins included a large chunk of the country's largest oil play, the Permian Basin of West Texas and southeast New Mexico, which currently produces about 4.3 million b/d.

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"The Permian is still down 12%, though the Delaware is 100% back and the Midland is still down 45%," Fawcett said.

The Delaware sub-basin is the far West Texas and New Mexico portions of the Permian, while the Midland sub-basin is the eastern Permian.

The difference between the restored production "is probably...age of infrastructure, processing facilities, and more low-producing wells," in the Midland region, which is more mature and developed, Fawcett said.

Rockies basins 'fully back'

The DJ Basin in Colorado, the Bakken Shale in North Dakota, and Powder River Basin in Wyoming are all "fully back," he said.

Oklahoma plays in the SCOOP-STACK, and Anadarko Basins, and the Texas Gulf Coast, are areas that are still impacted, he said.

Last week's Arctic blast "wreaked havoc" in energy markets, with power supply losses not only to oil fields but businesses and homes which, on top of electricity outages, did not have enough water, Simmons Energy said in a Feb. 22 investor note.

Many residents are still grappling with the after-effects of frozen pipes that burst from sub-freezing temperatures, and even those whose pipes survived the icy weather saw water that was discolored and not drinkable without boiling, and water flows that were reduced to a trickle.

Simmons noted that a slew of fourth-quarter earnings the week of Feb. 21, some of which were scheduled for the previous week but were postponed, will doubtless provide more information on individual E&P producers' output shut-ins and impacts to February production.

Heaviest week for earnings

The current week's earnings will be "the heaviest week of earnings reports this season," Simmons said.

ConocoPhillips, which reported earnings in early February, said on Feb. 22 in an email that the "majority" of its Permian and also Eagle Ford Shale volumes, located in South Texas, remain offline, as well as about a quarter of its Bakken Shale volumes in North Dakota.

"Most of our L48 production losses are related to power and infrastructure outages," the company said. "We continue to assess the situation and are ready to bring production back online across Lower 48 when power and infrastructure are restored, and when it is safe to resume production. This is expected to occur over the next week."

In addition, US economic reports have been "improving significantly as the economy reflates and COVID-19 concerns begin to recede," said Simmons.

"Economic reports of note for the week ahead include: leading economic indicators (Feb. 22), Fed Chairman Powell testimony (Feb. 23-24) and core inflation and consumer sentiment (Feb. 26)," the investment bank said.