US - update through July 2019

These interactive presentations contain the latest oil & gas production data from 115,629 horizontal wells in 12 US states, through July 2019. Cumulative oil and gas production from these wells reached 11.9 billion bbl and 136 Tcf of natural gas. Ohio and West Virginia are deselected in most dashboards, as their production data is less current. Oklahoma is for now only available in our subscription services.

July oil production was again at a record level, at well over 7 million bo/d (after upcoming revisions). If you switch product to “gas”, a similar picture emerges for natural gas production.

Initial well productivity in the major tight oil basins is also at a record high (see the “Well quality” tab, where the oil basins are preselected). But as mentioned in earlier posts, normalizing for the ~20% increase in average lateral length (which is possible in our advanced analytics service), we basically find that well results are unchanged in the past 3 years. Of course, that can still have a positive financial impact, if the economics per lateral foot have improved.

The 5 largest tight oil operators are at or near production highs (see “Top operators”), with EOG far in the lead.

But this group is not responsible for the most productive wells. We have made a major improvement to our “Productivity ranking” dashboard within our analytics service. You can now easily find a ranking of all operators (or for example counties), based on a well productivity metric. For example, in the following image you will find a ranking of all the US tight oil operators, with a minimum of 10 operated wells, by the average cumulative oil production in the first 2 years. Only horizontal oil wells are included that began production since 2014.


US tight oil operators ranked by average well performance (first 2 years oil production).

Click on the image to see the high-resolution version. As you can see, Enerplus, which is almost exclusively a Bakken operator, is in the lead. Its 82 wells produced an average of 275 thousand barrels of oil in the first 2 years.

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 horizontal wells that started production between 2009 and 2014 are now on average nearing 20 bo/d, as is visible in the plot above. Newer wells are on a path to recover almost double the amount compared with this group, before hitting this level.

Early next week we will have a new post on North Dakota. Production data through September is now already for 95%+ complete and available in our subscription services.

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 to 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.



  • Mike Shellman says:

    The productivity ranking dashboard is very cool, Enno. Goodonya!

  • Enno says:

    Happy to hear that Mike.

    I just read your own excellent post on BOE: Beware the Bearer Of BOE.

    I thoroughly agree with you, and I have no idea why its use is so prevalent in the industry. A good metric should be easy to understand, and BOE is not (except in the context of heat generation..).

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