Permian - update through June 2017

This interactive presentation contains the latest oil & gas production data from 11908 horizontal wells in the Permian (Texas & New Mexico) that started producing since 2009/2010, through June 2017.

After the major upgrade of the lease allocation algorithm last month, this month I’ve made a number of smaller improvements to the Texas data. What hasn’t changed is that production is still reported incompletely for recent months. Therefore, despite the apparent stagnation of total oil production in the above graph, I expect to see that production is still climbing, after revision data is in. However, the growth rate in 2017 is probably smaller than in the preceding 3 years.

Gas production from horizontal wells has also risen steadily over this period, and is now at about 4.5 Bcf/d, or 4 times the level just 4 years ago (switch “Product” to gas to see this).

As noted in the Eagle Ford post this week, new horizontal well completions have been at a level of ~100 wells / month in the Eagle Ford in the past year. In the “Well status” overview, you’ll see that in the Permian this level has been quite a bit higher, at 150-200 wells / month. In combination with rising well production, this explains the growth in production in the Permian.

The final tab (“Top operators”) shows that Pioneer Natural Resources has been the leading operator of horizontal wells in the Permian for almost 2 years now. Most of its production is located in just 7 counties, as shown in the map below the graph, if you click on its name in the legend.

The ‘Advanced Insights’ presentation is displayed below:



The strong increases in the well production profiles in recent years can also be seen in this “Ultimate Recovery” overview. Longer laterals, and the injection of far more sand during completions, has had a major effect on these curves. However, if you switch the “Show wells by” to “Quarter of first flow”, wells are grouped by the quarter in which production started, and then you’ll see that, since the 2nd quarter of last year, well productivity improvements have leveled off.

Note that the wells that started in that quarter have produced more oil, on average, than wells from any other quarter, even those that started years earlier! They were after 13 months on production already at 138 kbo cumulative production (on average) .

The “Well status map” shows the location and status of all these horizontal wells. Wells that are not yet completed, or already plugged, are now also shown in Texas.

The Texas data has been updated on the Get the Data page. Also, I’m making a new payment option available as requested by some of you: now wire transfer is possible as well. Please contact me if you would like to use this new option.

Next week Wednesday I will have a new post on North Dakota when August production is available, followed by a post on all 10 covered states in the US.

Production data is subject to revisions, especially for the last few months in Texas.

Note that a significant portion of oil production in the Permian comes from vertical wells and/or wells that started production before 2010, which are excluded from these presentations.

For these presentations, I used data gathered from the following sources:

  • Texas RRC. Oil production is estimated for individual wells, based on a number of sources, such as well completion reports, regular well tests, oil proration data, and well inactivity reports.
  • OCD in New Mexico. Accurate individual well production data is provided.


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.


  • Krisvis says:

    EIA drilling report has wells completed at 1708 through June. If I read your charts right, you have the horizontal well count at 738 through June. Am I correct here?

    1. Enno says:


      > If I read your charts right, you have the horizontal well count at 738 through June. Am I correct here?

      Correct. These are preliminary though. As you can see in the “Well status” tab, there is typically a steep drop in the last few reported months, which is caused by incomplete data. My guess is that the final tally will be closer to 1000.

      > EIA drilling report has wells completed at 1708 through June.

      Do you have a link?
      I have in the past compared my methodology with that of the EIA. The EIA used to count all wells (including conventional) in a certain region, model incomplete data, and may use somewhat different geographical boundaries. Probably these factors explain the difference with my numbers.

      1. Krisvis says:

        On the right hand side there is a Excel spreadsheet DUC data. That has information on wells.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *