US - update through December 2018

These interactive presentations contain the latest oil & gas production data from 101,165 horizontal wells in 11 US states, through December 2018. Cumulative oil and gas production from these wells reached 10.4 Gbo and 112 Tcf. West Virginia is deselected in most dashboards, as it has a greater reporting lag. Oklahoma is for now only available in our subscription services. Utah, where the Uinta Basin is located, is for the first time included in this update.

December production from these ~100 thousand horizontal wells was above 6.5 million bo/d, a y-o-y growth of 1.3 million bo/d (after revisions). This was a similar growth rate as a year earlier. Natural gas production increased to ~60 Bcf/d, growing by about 10 Bcf/d during the year, which also matched the growth in the previous year.

The production profiles for these wells can be seen in the ‘Well quality’ tab, where the oil basins are preselected. The average peak production rate grew by 12% in 2018 (635 bo/d vs 565 bo/d). If you group the wells by the quarter in which they began production (using the “Show wells by” selection), you will find that this increase in peak production rate continued throughout 2018.

The final tab lists the top operators in these basins. EOG was far in the lead in December, followed by ConocoPhillips, Pioneer Natural Resources and Concho, which are basically sharing the 2nd spot.

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.

The ~1,400 horizontal wells that started producing in the first quarter of 2012, peaked at a rate close to 300 bo/d, have now declined to 20 bo/d, and recovered 150 thousand barrels of oil in the process. The ~1,400 wells that began production 4 years later (Q1 2016), peaked at a rate roughly 50% higher, and are also on track to recover about 50% more oil, before they have fallen to 20 bo/d.

A major question now is whether this relationship between initial production, and ultimate recovery will hold up with ever more “child” wells being drilled. Unlike their “parent” wells, they do have nearby producing wells. We will explore this question in more detail in the coming months.

If you have questions that cannot be answered by the interactive presentations here, schedule a free demo with us here, or request a 10-day trial.

Early next week we will have a new post on North Dakota, which will release February production data by the end of this week.

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.
  • Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining
  • Automated Geographic Reference Center of Utah.
  • 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.



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