US - update through November 2017

This interactive presentation contains the latest oil & gas production data from 81,656 horizontal wells in 10 US states, through November last year. Cumulative oil and gas production from these wells reached 7.9 Gbo and 82.6 Tcf.

Excluding West Virginia (which will report production for the full 2017 in a couple of months), horizontal wells in these states produced more than 4.5 million bo/d, and 45 Bcf/d in November 2017, setting new records for both (after revision data is in).

As especially initial well performance has improved in most of the basins, the share of production from top producers is increasing. You can see this for both oil & gas, if you set the ‘Show production by’ selection to ‘Production level’. E.g. more than 1/3rd of oil production in November came from just ~2,200 wells that produced more than 400 bo/d each.

In the ‘Well quality’ tab production profiles for all these wells (oily basins are pre-selected) are plotted, with wells grouped by the year in which production started. As the bottom graph shows, well productivity was up each year since 2012, with especially a major jump in 2016. Longer term improvements are still less apparent, especially when compared with the early Bakken wells from 2008-2010. You can use the ‘Selection’ filters to view these profiles for more specific regions/operators or even single wells.

The ‘Well status’ tab gives an overview of the status of all these wells. The  inflection point in 2016 is visible here, as drilling & completion activity started to ramp up again.

The last overview (‘Top operators’) shows the 5 largest oil & gas operators in these states, based on operated production from horizontal wells. EOG (oil) and Chesapeake (natural gas) are the clear leaders.

The ‘Advanced Insights’ presentation is displayed below:



This “Ultimate recovery” overview shows the relationship between cumulative production, and production rates, over time. I’ve preselected the major oil basins, and the wells are grouped by the year in which production started.

Here the impact that these year-on-year productivity improvements have had on the trajectory towards ultimate recovery are even more clearly visible. If you change the ‘Show wells by’ selection to ‘Quarter of first flow’, wells will be grouped by the quarter in which production started, and you can see that since Q4 2016 no further improvements are yet visible, although the number of new wells did increase.

If you want to analyze the improvements in well productivity over time in more detail, I recommend the 5th tab (‘Productivity over time’), where you can select based on how many months (e.g. 24 months cumulative production) this metric should be displayed.

On Thursday I will have a new post on North Dakota, followed by an update on Ohio & Pennsylvania early next week.

You can follow me on twitter here.

Production data is subject to revisions. For these presentations, I used data gathered from the sources listed below.

  • Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission
  • Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. Similar as in Texas, lease/unit production is allocated over wells in order to estimate their individual production histories.
  • 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. Individual well production is estimated through the allocation of lease production data over the wells in a lease, and from pending lease production data.
  • 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.