US – update until 2016-04

Above you’ll find another update on the oil & gas production in the major US shale basins. You can see the total oil & gas production from 60557 selected horizontal wells, that started flowing since 2003, up until April 2016. Total oil production from these wells reached 5.1 Gbo, while cumulative gas production was 41.5 Tcf. These wells are responsible for roughly 40% of the current oil and gas production in the whole U.S, and caused almost all of the growth in the last couple of years.

In this update, the horizontal wells in the state Pennsylvania have been added. This caused most of the increase in producing wells (almost 7000) compared with the last update, while an increase in coverage of other parts in Texas added about 3000 horizontal wells. As there are now more and more gas wells in the presentation (especially from the Marcellus in PA), I’ve added the possibility to see either oil, or gas production, in each of the overviews. You can switch between these two products with the the “product” selection in the top right of the view.

In the past I’ve focused on horizontal oil wells. Now, due to the addition of many horizontal gas wells, it’s important that while analyzing the results, you take these two product streams into account. E.g., if you’re mostly interesting in oil production, you can use the filters to only select basins where mostly oil is produced. Otherwise, when analyzing the performance of the average well in your selection, I recommend considering both the oil & gas production.

Some findings from a brief analysis of the latest data:

  • Oil production is declining faster on average than gas production. You can see this clearly by switching between oil & gas, in both the “Total production” and  “Well quality” views.
  • New completions dropped fast in the Bakken & Eagle Ford (roughly 75% compared with early 2015), while roughly only by half in the Niobrara and Permian. The Marcellus (PA) has held up even better, dropping only slightly. You can see this yourselves by going to the “Well status” tab, and filtering the “status” selection to “first flow” (which shows the number of newly flowing wells per month), and then using the basin filter.
  • The oil productivity of new wells have on average not changed much since 2014 in the Eagle Ford, or in the Niobrara. I see a small increase in the average productivity in the Bakken (ND), and larger increases in the Permian. You can see this in the “Well quality” tab, and using the “Basin” filter to see the average performance of the wells in the selected basin.
  • If you look at the average oil production of all wells, you can see clearly that most improvements in well quality have happened in the first 1-2 years, after which wells appear to trend to production rates similar as earlier wells. You can see the same if you check this for each of the basins.

Note that because well profiles in Texas are estimated (based on lease production, and individual well completion and status data), you may encounter some artifacts when zooming into a very small set of wells in Texas, especially in earlier years (2010-2012) in the Permian (TX). The results of larger selections, and the performance of newer wells, are more reliable.

Next week Friday (August 12th), I plan another update on North Dakota.

Production data is subject to revisions, especially for the last few months in Texas. For this presentation, I used data gathered from the following sources:

  • DMR of North Dakota
  • Colorado OGCC
  • Texas RRC. Well profiles are estimated from well status & lease production data, as individual well production data is not provided.
  • OCD in New Mexico
  • BOGC of Montana
  • DEP of Pennsylvania


The above presentation has 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, and include or exclude categories.
  • 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.