Permian – update through December 2017

This interactive presentation contains the latest oil & gas production data from all 14,352 horizontal wells in the Permian (Texas & New Mexico) that started producing since 2009/2010, through December 2017.

In this update, production from wells that are not yet fully processed by the Texas RRC (they only have ‘pending production’ records) is also shown. This has the effect that we can get a more clear picture on the developments in recent months, and it should also reduce (but not eliminate) revisions, which are typically high for this area.

As you can see in the above graph, oil production from unconventional horizontal wells reached almost 2 million barrels per day in the Permian, with a doubling in output in just 2 years. The tooltips can show you that not many more wells were brought online in 2017 compared with e.g. 2014 (~3,005 vs 2,679), but as well productivity has significantly increased, the contribution from these newer wells is far larger.

If you switch ‘Product’ to gas, you’ll see that the growth story for natural gas production has been very similar, and now more than 6 Bcf/d is produced from these wells. You’ll also note that the decline profile is less steep.

In the “Well quality” tab, the production profiles for all these wells are shown. Wells that started in 2017 produced on average almost 100 thousand barrels of oil in the first 7 calendar months (shown in bottom graph). In comparison, the wells from 2014 reached this level only after 2 years on production.


The ‘Advanced Insights’ presentation is displayed below:



This “Ultimate recovery” overview shows the average production rate for these wells, while they are heading towards their ultimate recovery. Wells are grouped by the year in which they started production. To see more recent and granular data you can change this to quarter or month using the ‘Show wells by’ selection.

In the 4th tab (‘Productivity ranking’), operators are ranked by the quality of their wells, as measured by the cumulative oil production in the first 24 calendar months since production start. If you change this measurement to 6 months, and only select the years 2016 & 2017 (using the ‘Years of first flow’ selection), you can see that from the operators with at least 100 wells, EOG had the best performance: the 190 wells it started to operate in the past 2 years, with at least 6 months of operation, did on average 137 thousand barrels of oil in the first 6 months.

Later this week I will have a update on the Eagle Ford. Next week I will have a post on all 10 covered states in the US, and another one on a projection of the oil & gas output from all these horizontal wells several years into the future.

Production data is subject to revisions.

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Note that a significant portion of production in the Permian comes from vertical wells and/or wells that started production before 2010, which are excluded from these presentations.

For these presentations, I used data gathered from the following sources:

  • Texas RRC. Oil production is estimated for individual wells, based on a number of sources, such as lease & pending production data, well completion & inactivity reports, regular well tests and oil proration data.
  • OCD in New Mexico. Individual well production data is provided.


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.