US - update through December 2017

This interactive presentation contains the latest oil & gas production data from 83,177 horizontal wells in 10 US states, through December last year. Cumulative oil and gas production from these wells reached 8.0 Gbo and 84.2 Tcf.

After two years of falling output, oil production grew by over 1 million barrels of oil per day in 2017. The Permian basin was responsible for more than half of this growth. Gas production grew at very similar rate (excluding West Virginia, which has not yet reported 2017 production numbers), to over 46 Bcf/d (switch ‘Product’ to ‘gas’ to see this).

In the ‘Well quality’ tab production profiles for all these wells (oily basins are preselected) are plotted, with wells grouped by the year in which production started. On average, wells that started in 2017 had a peak rate of almost 600 bo/d in their first full calendar month on production, compared with ~420 bo/d for wells that started 2 years earlier.

The last overview (‘Top operators’) shows the 5 largest oil & gas operators in these states, based on operated production from horizontal wells. EOG, far in the lead, is now nearing half a million barrels of oil per day production. If you click on its name in the legend, you will see in the map below that this operator is active in all unconventional oil plays.

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.

The trend of improving well productivity over the years is clearly visible here. Still, some of the best well results (for oil) were obtained in the Bakken in 2008/2009. If for example you select only ‘EOG’ (using the ‘Operator’ selection) and include those years (with the ‘Year of first flow’ selection), you will see that these early wells for this operator, which are Bakken only, appear on a path to roughly double the oil recovery than more recent wells.

[Update] There is some delay on the planned ‘Projections’ post due to a bug in an external tool that we use. I currently aim to have the new post up tomorrow or on Monday.

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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.