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EIA ups US unconventional oil output growth estimate for May more than sevenfold

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EIA ups US unconventional oil output growth estimate for May more than sevenfold


May oil output seen up 94,000 b/d to 7.7 million b/d

More production returned from winter freeze

June output pegged to rise 26,000 b/d on month

Houston — The US Energy Information Administration increased its projection for month-on-month growth in US unconventional oil output for May by more than sevenfold in its latest Drilling Productivity Report.

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The EIA on May 17 said May crude production will rise by 94,000 b/d from April to 7.707 million b/d, up from its projection of a 13,000 b/d month-on-month gain to 7.6 million b/d it made last month. Total US oil production from April to May will slip by only 3,000 b/d.

Higher productivity per rig and a better-than-expected bounceback from the winter freeze that caused widespread well shut-ins in February were behind the upward revision, EIA officials said.

In June, total US unconventional oil output is projected to rise by 26,000 b/d month on month to 7.733 million b/d, EIA said.

EIA analyst Jozef Lieskovsky said productivity is projected to increase by 12 b/d of oil per rig from May to June.

Output in the Permian Basin, sited in West Texas/New Mexico, is projected to grow the most of any of the seven largest domestic plays, increasing by 54,000 b/d month on month in June to 4.589 million b/d, EIA said.

Other large domestic basins are predicted to see production falling.

The Eagle Ford is seen losing 8,000 b/d month on month for a total 1.030 million b/d, and the Bakken Shale (1.097 million b/d) in North Dakota/Montana, the Niobrara Shale (506,000 b/d) of Colorado/Wyoming, and the Anadarko Basin (351,000 b/d) of Oklahoma/North Texas are each pegged at a loss of 7,000 b/d.

The total count of drilled but uncompleted wells in April fell below the 7,000 mark for the first time since November 2018, EIA said, falling to 6,857.

The basin with the most drawdowns of DUC wells, which are often left unfinished due to simple timing since wells are typically completed in batches, was the Permian, which completed 121 wells more in April for a total 2,932.

It was the first time the Permian DUC count has been below 3,000 since January 2019.