US - update through July 2016

This interactive presentation covers the oil & gas production from 65224 horizontal wells in 8 US states, through July. Total production from these wells reached 5.7 Gbo, while cumulative gas production topped 47 TCF.

Production from Ohio is available in this presentation as well, but by default deselected, as data is only available through June.

You can see that in July the decline in oil production from these wells has slowed a little, compared with the second quarter. Note further that about 2 million bo/d of new production has been added since the beginning of 2015 (shown by the difference between the top of the graph, and the top of the orange area, in July).

If you switch to gas (“product” selection), you’ll see that gas production from these wells has steadied in 2016, on a level slightly higher than in 2015.

This is a high-level observation, which ignores that both oil and gas basins are covered here, and that there major differences in activity between these basins. Still, the proportion of gas has also increased in each of the basins, due to the slower decline profile of gas production.

In the “Well quality” tab, the average oil production profiles are shown for these wells, since 2003. They are grouped by the year in which they started production. I’ve deselected basins which focus heavily on gas.

This overview shows that since horizontal well production moved from the Bakken to other areas (Eagle Ford, Niobrara and the Permian) at around 2010, wells have shown continuous improvements in initial oil production, but that there is a cross-over point at about 2 years, after which cumulative production starts to become less compared with those earlier wells.

We can derive from this that, on average, recent wells recover a larger portion of their ultimate oil production early on.

The “Top operators” tab shows that the 5 largest oil producers in these basins all have slowed production down since early 2015.

Next week Wednesday (Nov 16), I plan another update on North Dakota once the NDIC releases September production.

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:

  • Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission
  • Montana Board of Oil and Gas
  • New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission
  • North Dakota Department of Natural Resources
  • Ohio Department of natural Resources
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • Texas Railroad Commission. Well profiles are estimated from well status & lease production data, as individual well production data is not provided.
  • Wyoming Oil & Gas Conservation Commission


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:

    How’s this for a number- 9,119 wells drilled in 2015 outside of Appalachia. Total Cost at $8MM per (land, drill, complete) $73 billion. Production 4 MMBOPD 1.46 Bbbls. Development Cost per Barrel Produced $50. “Net Up” for royalty (80%), sev and adval tax (11.5%), wti basis ($10) and LOE $10 gives you North of $80 to have a stable (non-declining) self funding business model.

    Eventually you want a business to start feeding you and to stop feeding it.

    1. Enno says:

      Thanks for the comment Jim,

      I’m always glad to see that you and others here do your best efforts in translating the information presented here to the next step, and I welcome any good take on it.

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