EIA: Shale Patch Production to Climb 113,000 Barrels a Day in August

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Monday released its July report on drilling productivity in seven key oil and gas producing regions of the U.S. Overall oil production is projected to rise by a whopping 113,000 barrels a day in August to 5.585 million barrels per day. Total production in July is forecast to reach 5.472 million barrels a day, an increase of 124,000 barrels a day compared with June production.

In May the number of drilled but uncompleted (DUC) wells rose by 176 to a total of 5,946. The largest gain came in the Permian Basin with 125 new DUC wells. For the month of June, the EIA expects the DUC count to rise to 6,031. We looked at the Dallas Fed’s report on Permian production and DUCs earlier this morning.

WTI crude oil for August delivery had been trading about flat at around $46.56 before the EIA report and sank to around $46.06, down about 1% from Friday’s closing price, following the report.

No overall production declines are forecast either for July or August, but production from new wells is looking for a decline in production of 7 barrels per day per rig. The largest declines in new rig productivity come in the Eagle Ford shale and the Permian Basin, down 23 barrels per day per rig and 10 barrels per day per rig, respectively.

Natural gas production is expected to rise by a total of 837 million cubic feet per day with Permian Basin production up by 160 million cubic feet per day. Production in the Marcellus play is expected to rise by 201 million cubic feet in August. Utica shale gas production is forecast to rise by 104 million cubic feet per day with Haynesville gas production up by 142 million cubic feet per day and Niobrara production up by 93 million cubic feet per day.

WTI crude oil for August delivery settled Monday at $46.02 a barrel, down about 1.1% from Friday’s closing price of $46.54. Higher U.S. oil production in the shale patch is a serious weight on prices.

Natural gas for August delivery settled up nearly 1.1% at $3.02 per million BTUs, down 8 cents from Friday’s closing price.