Permian - update through July 2016

This interactive presentation contains the latest oil & gas production data from 9976 selected horizontal wells in the Permian (Texas & New Mexico) through July.

As mentioned in the last update, there indeed turns out to be a steady increase in oil production in the Permian so far in 2016, albeit at a slower pace than we’ve seen in the previous two years.

In the “Well quality” tab, you can see the main factor behind this increase; a continuous improvement in average well productivity, since 2013. 2016 wells so far are on a cumulative level about twice that compared with the average 2013 well, by month 7 on production (80 vs 40 kbo). It will be very interesting to see how long these production rates can stay higher, compared with earlier wells.

High grading is a partial explanation behind these increases, as drilling and completion has also here slowed down compared with 2015, though much less than we’ve seen elsewhere. In the “Well status” tab, you can see that new wells are brought online in a steady pace so far this year. I would explain the apparent drop in the latest month shown (July) by incomplete data.

Of the top 5 operators (“Top operators” tab), Pioneer Natural Resources stands out as the operator that is aggressively increasing production, while the other 4 shown are below recent peaks.

I expect to have another update on all the 8 US states I cover coming Friday (Nov 11th).

Production data is subject to revisions, especially for the last few months in Texas. For this presentation, I used data gathered from the following sources:

  • Texas RRC. I’ve estimated individual well production from well status & lease production data, as these are otherwise not provided. Because of these estimations, I recommend looking at larger samples (>50 wells) before drawing conclusions. About 7% of the horizontal Permian wells in Texas are excluded, as these were mixed with too many vertical wells on a lease, making reasonable well profile estimations impossible. I’ve no spud or plugging information on wells & DUCs in Texas, so these statuses are unavailable in the “Well status” tab.
  • OCD in New Mexico. Accurate individual well production data is available.


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.


  • jim brooker says:

    Performance is looking more exponential with no hyperbolic tail.

    I see the PXD wells from 2015 extrapolating to about 190 MSTBO (image attached).

    1 MMBOEers need to wake up and smell the Enno!


    1. Enno says:

      Thanks Jim,

      I think that you’ve made a very reasonable estimate, at least until about year 4 on production (or about 20 bo/d), as shown in your picture. This assumes that these wells behave similarly as older ones, which is something that so far has been frequently the case.

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