US - update through February 2019

These interactive presentations contain the latest oil & gas production data from 103,883 horizontal wells in 11 US states, through February 2019. Cumulative oil and gas production from these wells reached 10.8 Gbo and 116 Tcf. West Virginia is deselected in most dashboards, as it has a greater reporting lag for many horizontal wells. Oklahoma is for now only available in our subscription services.

A thousand horizontal wells were completed every month last year, on average. But now the frantic growth in oil production in the past 2 years appears to have stalled. Production in the first 2 months of 2019 was slightly down, although revisions will probably bring the level back up close to the record in December, at just over 6.7 million bo/d.

The “Well quality” tab reveals that average well productivity in the major tight oil basins increased again in 2018, but by a smaller margin than in the 5 preceding years. In the bottom chart (“Cumulative production profiles”), you will find that about 132 thousand barrels of oil are recovered in the first year, on average, versus 122 thousand barrels for wells that began production in 2017.

The final tab lists the top 5 operators in these basins. Most are near their production highs, although ConocoPhillips saw a large reduction in output in February, especially in North Dakota where it is also one of the largest operators.

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.

This chart confirms that initial well productivity in these basins has increased almost every single year. Associated gas production is up as well, as you’ll find if you switch ‘Product’ to ‘Gas’. The chart will then show that recent wells are also on a trajectory to recover well over 1 Bcf of natural gas, on average.

The following screenshot, from our Professional Analytics service, reveals the top 10 oil-producing counties in these major tight oil basins.


Top 10 oil-producing counties (tight oil production only)

Click on the image to see the high-resolution version. McKenzie County in North Dakota is still clearly in the lead, followed by Reeves, Weld and Midland counties. Lea County (NM), in which output more than doubled in the past 2 years, is catching up fast.

In the coming week, we will release a major improvement for our data subscribers: a REST API, that allows our customers to keep their database closely synchronized with ours, which is updated on a daily basis.

Early next week we will have a new post on North Dakota, which will release April production data in the coming days.

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 & Economic 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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