US - update through April 2017

This interactive presentation contains the latest oil & gas production data from 74,530 horizontal wells in 10 US states, through April. Cumulative oil and gas production from these wells reached 6.8 Gbo and 71.9 Tcf.

With higher rig and completion levels than last year, oil production has been rising so far in 2017 (which will be more visible after upcoming revisions), while gas production has remained constant. This is the first time that Louisiana is included in this US update as well. Because most horizontal shale wells in Louisiana are producing gas, this represents a significant addition to the gas production shown in these presentations; now all wells included here are responsible for more than half of total US gas production. The first tab (“Where?”) shows exactly which regions are covered.

West Virginia & Ohio are also included, but as production data in these states runs only through Dec 2016, and March 2017 resp. I’ve deselected them in most overviews.

The year-on-year changes of the production profiles of all these wells can be easily determined in the “Well quality” tab. Due to increasing lateral lengths, and completion volumes, the trend of ever higher initial production rates has not yet halted. Decline rates have also steepened on average; while 2016 wells peaked at a rate of almost double that of 2009 wells (529 bo/d vs 288 bo/d), after 10 months, this difference has fallen to 50%.

The final tab (“Top operators”) shows the output and location of the 5 largest operators. Since May 2016 EOG, which is far ahead of the competition, has been steadily increasing output again, and operated in April more than 400 thousand bo/d of production. As you can see in the map displayed there if you click on its name in the legend, it is active in all light tight oil (LTO) basins.

The ‘Advanced Insights’ presentation is displayed below:



In this “Ultimate recovery” overview a clear relationship between production rates, and cumulative production is visible. All these horizontal wells are grouped by the year in which they started production. Only the oily basins have been selected, which you can change by using the “Basin” selection at the bottom.

On the Get the Data page a new data structure is since today available for purchase. Although the previous Excel files are still available for some time, a far more detailed set of data is now offered as well in both Access & SQL Server database formats. Now well depth, lateral length, location, and completion data is available for most of the 80+ thousand horizontal wells that have been drilled in recent years. A document describing this new structure in detail can be downloaded there too, as well as a sample database.

In the upcoming posts I will show some of the possibilities of this new structure, starting with the next update on North Dakota early next week.

To celebrate this release, for the remainder of this month (August) the following discount code is available, which gives you a 20% discount for any data purchases made: ShaleProfile20PercentOff. On the “Check-out” page, this discount code can used.

Production data is subject to, typically upward, revisions, especially for the last few months in Texas. For these presentations, I used data gathered from the following sources listed below.

  • Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission
  • Louisiana Department of Natural Resources
  • 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. I’ve estimated individual well production from well status & lease production data, as these are otherwise not provided. Because of this, 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. Formation data in Texas is only available on lease level; therefore in cases where wells on the same lease are drilled into different formations, this information is not accurate.
  • West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
  • West Virginia Geological & Economical Survey
  • Wyoming Oil & Gas Conservation Commission


The above presentations have 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.
  • 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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