US Shale Oil Production to Rise 131,000 Barrels a Day in April

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Between April of 2017 and April of 2018, U.S. crude oil production from seven major shale regions is forecast to rise by 1.4 million barrels of oil per day to 6.954 million barrels a day. Next month alone the total is expected to rise by 131,000 barrels a day.

The forecast was published Monday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its monthly Drilling Productivity Report. Total production in March is forecast to reach 6.823 million barrels a day year over year, an increase of 177,000 compared with previously estimated March 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 January the number of drilled but uncompleted (DUC) wells slipped by two to a total of 7,491, including 90 new wells in the Permian Basin.

In February the number of DUC wells rose by 122 to a total of 7,601, including 122 new wells in the Permian Basin.

No overall oil production declines are forecast either for March or April, and production from new wells is looking for an increase in production of 10 barrels per day per rig. Production from new rigs is either expected to rise or remain flat from March to April in all but the Haynesville Shale play, where production is expected to be lower by one barrel a day.

Natural gas production is expected to rise by a total of 969 million cubic feet per day, with Appalachia production up by 359 million cubic feet per day. Production in the Permian Basin is expected to rise by 233 million cubic feet in April. Haynesville gas production is forecast to rise by 197 million cubic feet per day, and Niobrara production is expected to be up by 68 million cubic feet per day.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil for April delivery settled Monday at $61.36 a barrel, down about 1% from Friday’s closing price of $62.04. April crude opened at $61.38 Tuesday morning.

Natural gas for April delivery settled Monday at $2.78 per million BTUs, up about 1.8% from Friday’s closing price of $2.73. April gas opened at around $2.81 Tuesday morning.