US - update through March 2019

These interactive presentations contain the latest oil & gas production data from 111,702 horizontal wells in 12 US states, through March 2019. Cumulative oil and gas production from these wells reached 11.1 Gbo and 128 Tcf. Arkansas, which we’ve recently added to our data platform, is included as well. 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.

Shale oil production in these states grew by 1.5 million bo/d last year to over 6.8 million bo/d, as is visible in the graph above. Although preliminary data has the first few months of 2019 down a little, I expect that March set another record, after revisions.

There are some more incredible numbers; the 12 thousand wells that were completed last year contributed almost 4 million bo/d to this total in December (visible in the tooltip on the light-blue area). But their initial decline was steep, and these wells were ‘only’ producing 3 million bo/d in March this year. In order to maintain the current production level, every month a decline of about 350 thousand bo/d has to be filled.

Gas production from these wells has grown steadily, and in March topped 61 Bcf/d (switch ‘Product’ to gas).

In the “Well quality” tab the production profiles of all the horizontal wells in the major tight oil basins are selected. After many years of major improvements in well productivity, there appears to be a slow-down in the last 2 years. The wells that started production last year are on a trajectory to recover less than 10% more in the first 12 months, on average, than the wells that began in 2017.

The final tab lists the top 5 operators in these basins. EOG operated more than 600,000 bo/d of capacity in March, more than double the number 2.

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.

Early next week we will have a new post on North Dakota, which has just released May production data. Our data and analytics subscribers can now access this data in our services.

Next week we will be in Denver for the URTeC. If you have the chance, drop by our booth #951! I will be happy to meet you, answer your questions, and show you the latest developments.

Production data is subject to revisions. For these presentations, I used data gathered from the sources listed below.

  • Arkansas Oil & Gas Commission
  • 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.



  • Ovi says:

    According to the production chart, January production was 207,442 bbls/d, February production was 659,083 bbls/d and March was 1,124,427 bbls/d. So February’s additional production over January was 451,641 bbls/d and March was 465,344 bbls/d. Since Janaury, February and March total production are essentially flat at close to 6.7 Mb/d, this implies a legacy decline rate of closer to 450 kb/d. This is 100 kb/d higher than your posted value of 350 kb/d above. Why the difference or am I doing something wrong?

    1. jim brooker says:


      Great point and put another way 450,000 barrels per day per month divided by peak output of 634.9 bopd from the Ultimate recovery tab means 709 new wells to overcome the decline. First quarter total 2,206 wells or 735 per month, meaning 96.5% of the wells required to tread water.


  • Enno says:


    My number was just meant has a rough indication. There are several methods you could use to estimate this and the number is changing all the time, as the age distribution of the wells in the population is shifting. I agree that the 350 kb/d is somewhat generous (on the low end).

  • ovi says:

    Forgot to mention “Great site”

  • Enno says:

    Thanks Ovi! πŸ™‚

  • Laura M. FitzGerald says:

    Do you not have production information for N LA – in the Haynesville formation?

    Thank you.

    1. Enno says:


      Definitely we do, we cover all horizontal wells in Louisiana, that began production since 2006.

      In some dashboards only the oily basins have been selected. If you select the “Haynesville (LA)”, or the counties in the area, you will find these wells.

      Make sure to switch the Product filter to “Gas”, as the area is obviously mostly producing natural gas.

      Please let me know if you still can’t find what you’re looking for.

      See here below a screenshot from the area from our subscription service.

      Attachment Shale gas production Haynesville

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