EIA: December Crude Production to Fall by 20,000 Barrels a Day

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Monday released its November report on drilling productivity in seven key oil and gas producing regions of the U.S. Overall oil production is projected to remain essentially flat at 4.52 million barrels per day, just 7,000 barrels a day below October production. Total production in December is forecast to reach 4.498 million barrels a day, a drop of 20,000 barrels a day.

In October the number of drilled but uncompleted (DUC) wells rose by 58 to a total of 5,155. The largest gain came in the Permian Basin with 85 new DUC wells.

The largest decline is forecast for the Eagle Ford play in South Texas where production is expected to slip by 33,000 barrels a day in December. Production in the Bakken play in North Dakota and Montana is expected to drop by 14,000 barrels a day and Niobrara production is pegged to rise by 2,000 barrels a day. Production from the Permian Basin is forecast to rise by 27,000 barrels a day and the output from the Haynesville and Marcellus shale plays is expected to remain unchanged in both regions. The Utica shale play is expected to slip by 2,000 barrels a day.

Natural gas production is expected to drop by 94 million cubic feet per day with Eagle Ford production down the most (196 million cubic feet per day). Production in the Marcellus play is expected to rise by 130 million cubic feet in December. Utica shale gas production is forecast to decline by 4 million cubic feet per day.

WTI crude oil for December delivery closed Friday at $43.41 a barrel, and traded down less than 0.1% late Monday afternoon at $43.37 after dropping to $42.20 earlier in the day.

Natural gas for December delivery traded up nearly 5% at $2.75, up 13 cents from Friday’s closing price.