Permian – update through June 2018

This interactive presentation contains the latest oil & gas production data from all 16,770 horizontal wells in the Permian (Texas & New Mexico) that started producing since 2008/2009, through June.

Even though data for the last few months is still somewhat incomplete, it is already clear that the Permian set another production record in June, producing well above 2.4 million bo/d from all these horizontal wells. The ~2,000 wells that started production in the first half of this year already contributed more over 1 million bo/d in June, as reflected in the height of the dark blue area in the graph above.

The most prolific formations are the Wolfcamp and Bone Spring, which together are good for ~80% of total production (set “Show production by” to ‘Formation’ to see this).

Although output is still rising, with more than 10 well completions every day, well productivity is no longer increasing as it did between 2013 and 2016, as you can determine in the ‘Well quality’ overview.

The 3 largest producers here, Pioneer Natural Resources, Concho Resources and EOG, all increased production at a similar speed since early 2017 (see ‘Top operators’).

The ‘Advanced Insights’ presentation is displayed below:


This “Ultimate recovery” overview shows the average production rate for these wells, plotted against their cumulative recovery. Wells are grouped by the quarter in which production started.

The thickness of these curves is an indication of how many wells are included. E.g., the thick curves since Q4 2017 reflect the more than 1,000 wells that started in each of the recent quarters.

Although the number of new producers is high, also this plot shows that since Q2 2016 well performance hasn’t significantly changed anymore. In fact, if you normalize production by the lengths of these laterals (which is possible in our ShaleProfile Analytics service), you’ll find that productivity improvements have stagnated since then. Given that proppant loadings are also up (~16 million pounds per completion in Q1 2018, vs ~11 million pounds in Q2 2016), operators are getting less bang for their buck (or more accurately, less oil for their ‘bang’).

This may explain why proppant loadings in the Permian have on average not increased further since Q4 2017. Pioneer Natural Resources, which completed many wells since the end of last year with more than 20 million pounds of proppant, seems to also have scaled down the size of its completions in recent months, based on preliminary data.

Later this week I will have a post on the Eagle Ford, followed by one on all 10 covered states in the US early next week.

Production data is subject to revisions.

Note that a significant portion of production in the Permian comes from vertical wells and/or wells that started production before 2008, 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 lease & pending production data, well completion & inactivity reports, regular well tests and oil proration data.
  • OCD in New Mexico. Individual well production data is provided.


The above presentations have many interactive features:

  • 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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