US - update until 2016-01

Above you’ll find another update on the oil production in the 4 major US shale oil basins. You can see the total oil production from 34340 selected horizontal wells, in the 4 most prolific US shale oil basins, that started flowing since 2003, up until January 2016. In total, these wells have produced 3.97 giga barrels of oil so far.

You can see that there was quite a large drop in total production in December, followed by a minor one in January. I expect a pickup in shale production declines in Q2, as by then the combined effect of fewer completions, with steeper drops from recent wells with higher IPs, should become visible. As always, production from past months may still be revised (and typically upwards).

You can see that in January, the 6539 wells that started to produce since 2015 produced almost half of total production (1500 kbo/d vs 3132 kbo/d).

Compared with the previous month, I added production from horizontal wells in Montana, since 2003. Although overall production there is not that high, it provides some interesting lessons, as detailed in my previous post on Montana. On the “well quality” tab, you can see how those early Montana wells compare with recent wells (if you want to exclude them, just update the “first flow” filter on the right side). I found it striking how those early wells, despite their lower IP rates, were able to hold up high production rates for such a long time, and that the average horizontal Montana well from 2003 appears to have a good chance to become the best overall (average) vintage well.

I also increased the coverage of the Permian in Texas; I belief I cover now roughly 80% of the horizontal oil wells in that area (so excluding gas wells/leases), and in the coming months I aim to further increase this percentage.

On the “well status” tab you can find the status of these wells, over time. Note that I don’t have “spud” and “plugged” info for wells in Texas.

Tomorrow (June 15) the NDIC will release the production data for April, after which I’ll put up a new post on it. This was originally planned for last Friday, but apparently something came up.

I will also try to add condensate production from about 4800 horizontal wells in gas leases in the Eagle Ford, in the coming month.

For this presentation, I used data gathered from the following sources:

  • DMR of North Dakota
  • Colorado OGCC
  • Texas RRC. Well profiles are estimated from well & lease data, as individual well production data is not provided.
  • OCD in New Mexico
  • BOGC of Montana


The above presentation has many interactive features:

  • You can click through the blocks on the top to see the slides.
  • Each slide has filters that can be set, e.g. to select individual or groups of operators. You can first click “all” to deselect all items. You have to click the “apply” button at the bottom to enforce the changes. After that, click anywhere on the presentation.
  • Tooltips are shown by just hovering the mouse over parts of the presentation.
  • You can move the map around, and zoom in/out.
  • By clicking on the legend you can highlight selected items, and include or exclude categories.
  • Note that filters have to be set for each tab separately.
  • The operator who currently owns the well is designated by “operator (current)”. The operator who operated a well in a past month is designated by “operator (actual)”. This distinction is useful when the ownership of a well changed over time.
  • If you have any questions on how to use the interactivity, or how to analyze specific questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.


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