Between March of 2017 and March of 2018, U.S. crude oil production from seven major shale regions is forecast to rise by 1.88 million barrels of oil per day to 6.765 million barrels a day. Next month alone the total is expected to rise by 110,000 barrels a day.
That increase in daily U.S. production from its shale fields now surpasses the production cuts initiated in January of last year by OPEC and its allies.
The forecast was published Monday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its monthly Drilling Productivity Report. Total production in February is forecast to reach 6.646 million barrels a day, an increase of 24,000 barrels a day compared with previously estimated December production.
In August the drilling productivity report added production from the Anadarko basin of Oklahoma and Texas and combined the Marcellus and Utica basis into a single Appalachia region.
In December the number of drilled but uncompleted (DUC) wells rose by 156 to a total of 7,493 including 137 new wells in the Permian basin.
In January the number of drilled but uncompleted (DUC) wells rose by 121 to a total of 7,609 including 112 new wells in the Permian basin.
No overall oil production declines are forecast either for February or March, and production from new wells is looking for an increase in production of 5 barrels per day per rig. Production from new rigs is either expected to rise or remain flat from February to March.
Natural gas production is expected to rise by a total of 832 million cubic feet per day with Appalachia production up by 321 million cubic feet per day. Production in the Permian Basin is expected to rise by 216 million cubic feet in March. Haynesville gas production is forecast to rise by 189 million cubic feet per day and Niobrara production is expected to be up by 47 million cubic feet per day.
WTI crude oil for March delivery settled Monday at $59.29 a barrel, up about 0.2% from Friday’s closing price of $59.20.
Natural gas for March delivery settled Monday at $2.55 per million BTUs, down about 1.2% from Friday’s closing price of $2.58.