US - update through November 2018

This interactive presentation contains the latest oil & gas production data from 99,579 horizontal wells in 10 US states, through November 2018. Cumulative oil and gas production from these wells reached 10.1 Gbo and 109 Tcf. West Virginia and Ohio are deselected in most dashboards, as they have a greater reporting lag. Oklahoma is for now only available in our subscription services.

November oil production from these wells will come in at close to 6.5 million bo/d, after upcoming revisions. The number of well completions in 2018 through November was more than 20% higher, compared with the same period a year earlier.

The production profiles for all these wells can be found in the ‘Well quality’ tab. The major oil basins are selected and the performance is averaged for all the wells that started in a particular year. Well productivity clearly rose every year since 2011, with again a minor improvement in 2018.

The total oil & gas production from the 5 largest operators can be viewed in the final tab. EOG produced in November almost double the amount of oil as the number 2, ConocoPhillips. They all significantly increased production in 2018.

The ‘Advanced Insights’ presentation is displayed below:

This “Ultimate recovery” overview shows the relationship between production rates and cumulative production over time. The oil basins are preselected and the wells are grouped by the year in which production started. As the curves on this plot demonstrate, the decline behavior of these wells is typically quite predictable. By extrapolating them until a certain economic limit, you can make a reasonable estimate of ultimate recovery. You can also do so for your favorite operator, and/or basin, just by selecting them using the filters.

The 5,338 wells that started in 2016 recovered just over 150 thousand barrels of oil in the first 2 years on production, on average, as well as 0.5 Bcf of natural gas (switch ‘Product’ to gas to see that). This constitutes a decline of ~82% in these 2 years (from 516 bo/d to 93 bo/d).

We are happy to see that The Wall Street Journal has also started to use our services, with this article (behind a paywall): Chevron, Exxon Mobil Tighten Their Grip on Fracking.

Early next week we will have a new post on North Dakota, which will soon release January production data.

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.



  • Sjoerd says:

    Congrats on the WSJ piece! Good to see reporters starting to use objective sources of data rather than just taking operators at their word.

    1. Enno says:

      Thank you Sjoerd!

  • Enno says:

    Ohio just released 2018 Q4 production data. The state ended the year with more than 7 Bcf/d of natural gas production (hz wells only). This will be included in our US post next month.

    Analytics subscribers can now already access the latest data.

  • Krishnan Viswnathan says:

    “The 5,338 wells that started in 2016 recovered just over 150 thousand barrels of oil in the first 2 years on production, on average, as well as 0.5 Bcf of natural gas (switch ‘Product’ to gas to see that). This constitutes a decline of ~82% in these 2 years (from 516 bo/d to 93 bo/d).”

    I tweeted this yesterday and had tremendous response. I agree with Mark Papa that US shale needs $70/barrel to be cash flow neutral. I am also noticing the analysts asking tough questions in conference calls. The days of “unfettered” shale growth is unlikely to happen in 2019.

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