Permian – update through April 2017

This interactive presentation contains the latest oil & gas production data from 11215 selected horizontal wells in the Permian (Texas & New Mexico) that started producing since 2009/2010, through April 2017.

Oil production from horizontal wells is still growing in the Permian, at a pace comparable with 2016. As usual not all production reports for the last few months are in, and therefore I expect to see further gains in recent months after revisions are published.

If you switch “Product” to gas, you’ll see that this growth story is similar for natural gas production. However, as the colored areas reveal, the natural decline rate for gas is quite a bit lower.

With lateral lengths still increasing, and proppant volumes rising even faster, initial productivity has also grown, as displayed in the “Well quality” tab. In the New Mexico portion of the Permian for example, the average length of the horizontal laterals increased in 2017 by 10% over the preceding year, while proppant volumes are even around 30% bigger.

In the “Well status” tab, the number of wells that start producing each month is shown. The steep drop since January gives a good indication on how incomplete the data since then is.

In the last tab we can see the performance of the top 5 operators in this region, which together make up about 1/3rd of the total output.

The ‘Advanced Insights’ presentation is displayed below:



This “Ultimate recovery” overview shows how all these horizontal wells progress towards their ultimate recovery, as their production rate slows down over time. All wells are grouped by the quarter in which they started production.

As the blue curve at the top shows, horizontal wells that started production in the first quarter of 2017 are doing on average more than 700 barrels of oil per day in the first full month on production (which is the 2nd calendar month). That is not only a new record in this area, but also higher than we’ve seen in the other basins (see my other posts to compare this).

The “Well status map” overview shows how all these horizontal wells are distributed geographically.

In the coming month I will perform a thorough upgrade of the way Texas data is processed, which should increase the completeness and accuracy of the data quite a bit further. Next month I’llĀ  be happy to show you the results of this.

Coming Thursday or Friday I will have a new post on all covered US states (10 by now!). Together with that post, I will also make the new data structure available for purchase, which may be interesting for those of you who would like to have the underlying data.

The new structure contains far more information than is in the Excel files which are currently available; e.g. well depth, wellbore location & completion data. If you would like to see exactly what is in it, you can already have a look at the following document, which explains the new structure : ShaleProfile Database Description.

Production data is subject to revisions, especially for the last few months in Texas.

Note that a significant portion of oil 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. I’ve estimated individual well production from well status & lease production data, as these are otherwise not provided. Because of these estimations, I recommend looking at larger samples (>50 wells) before drawing conclusions. About 7% of the horizontal Permian wells in Texas are excluded, as these were mixed with too many vertical wells on a lease, making reasonable well profile estimations impossible. I’ve no spud, DUC, or plugging information on wells in Texas, so these statuses are unavailable. Detailed location data is available for all New Mexico wells, and for almost 99% of the Texan wells displayed; the remaining wells are shown near the center of the county in which they are located. Formation data in Texas is only available on lease level; therefore in cases where wells on the same lease are drilled in different formations, this information is not accurate.
  • OCD in New Mexico. Accurate 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.