EIA Drilling Productivity Report Update – May ’21
According to the EIA’s most recent Drilling Productivity Report, U.S. oil output is expected to rebound to a five month high level throughout the month of June. The Drilling Productivity Report uses recent data on the total number of drilling rigs in operation, estimates of drilling productivity, and estimated changes in production from existing wells to provide estimated changes in oil production for the seven key regions shown below.
May ’21 production levels were revised 95,300 barrels per day (bpd), or 1.3%, above levels previously forecasted but remained slightly below previous month production levels. Jun ’21 production levels are expected to increase by 25,900 bpd, or 0.3%, from the May ’21 revised production levels, rebounding to a five month high level.
The Jun ’21 projected month-over-month increase in oil production would be the first experienced throughout the past three months. Record large month-over-month declines in oil production were experienced throughout the months of April and May 2020, while Feb ’21 production volumes were also reduced significantly due to deep freeze related slowdowns.
Oil production is expected to increase most significantly from the previous month within the Permian (+54,000 bpd) region. The projected increase in Permian production levels is expected to more than offset a combined 28,200 bpd decline in production levels experienced throughout the six other production regions. Oil production is expected to decline most significantly from the previous month within the Eagle Ford (-7,800 bpd) and Bakken (-7,400 bpd) regions.
Jun ’21 oil production is expected to remain higher on a YOY basis for the second consecutive month, finishing 3.9% above previous year levels. Oil production had finished lower on a YOY basis over 12 consecutive months through Apr ’21.
Apr ’21 U.S. drilled-but-uncompleted (DUC) wells declined 3.4% from the previous month, reaching a two and a half year low level, overall. DUC wells, which have been drilled by producers but have not yet been made ready for production, have been compiled since Dec ’13. The monthly decline in DUC wells was the tenth experienced in a row.
Permian DUC wells declined most significantly from the previous month throughout Apr ’21, followed by Niobrara and Eagle Ford DUC wells. Appalachia DUC wells declined to the lowest level on record.