US Shale Oil Production to Rise by 134,000 Barrels a Day in January

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Between January of 2018 and January of 2019, U.S. crude oil production from seven major shale regions is forecast to rise by 1.72 million barrels of oil per day to 8.17 million barrels a day. The month-over-month increase from December 2018 to January 2019 is expected to total 134,000 barrels a day.

The forecast was published Monday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its monthly Drilling Productivity Report. December production is forecast to reach 8.03 million barrels a day.

Total U.S. production, including offshore and Alaskan production, is running at more than 11.5 million barrels a day. New drilling slowing down, however:

  • In September the number of drilled but uncompleted (DUC) wells rose by 192 to a total of 8,389 including 194 new wells in the Permian Basin.
  • In October the number of DUC wells rose by 269 to a total of 8,545 including 249 new wells in the Permian Basin.
  • In November the number of DUC wells rose by 287 to a total of 8,723 including 248 new wells in the Permian Basin.

No overall shale oil production declines are forecast either for December or January, with production from new wells expected to increase by 12 barrels per day per rig (a rig-weighted average) to 691 in January. In the Bakken, new production is expected to rise by 22 barrels a day to 1,611 barrels, while production in the Permian Basin is forecast to rise by 15 barrels a day to 631 barrels.

Natural gas production is expected to increase by 1.13 billion cubic feet per day month over month in January. Production in the Permian Basin is expected to rise by 258 million cubic feet per day in the month. Haynesville gas production is forecast to rise by 142 million cubic feet per day, and Appalachian production is expected to be up by 414 million cubic feet per day.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil for January delivery traded Monday at $50.08 a barrel, down about 2.2% from Friday’s settlement price of $51.20. January crude opened at $51.38 this morning.

Natural gas for January delivery traded at $3.55 per million BTUs, down more than 7% from Friday’s settlement price of $3.83. January gas opened at around $3.6 this morning.

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