EIA Drilling Productivity Report Update – Feb ’21
According to the EIA’s most recent Drilling Productivity Report, U.S. oil output is expected to decline to a nine month low level throughout the month of March. 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.
Feb ’21 production levels were revised 59,000 barrels per day (bpd), or 0.8%, above levels previously forecasted but remained 90,000 bpd, or 1.2%, below Jan ’21 production levels. Mar ’21 production levels are expected to decline an additional 78,000 bpd, or 1.0%, from the Feb ’21 revised production levels, reaching a nine month low level.
The Mar ’21 projected month-over-month decline in oil production would be the fourth experienced in a row but the smallest experienced throughout the four month period. Record large month-over-month declines in oil production were experienced throughout the months of April and May.
Oil production is expected to decline most significantly from the previous month within the Anadarko (-19,200 bpd), Bakken (-18,200 bpd) and Niobrara (-17,600 bpd) regions. The expected declines in Anadarko, Bakken and Niobrara production levels accounted for over two thirds of the total expected decline in production.
Mar ’21 oil production is expected to remain lower on a YOY basis for the 11th consecutive month, finishing 17.1% below previous year levels. The projected YOY decline in Mar ’21 oil production would be the second largest on record, trailing only the May ’20 decline.
Jan ’21 U.S. drilled-but-uncompleted (DUC) wells declined 2.2% from the previous month, reaching a 26 month 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.
Permian DUC wells declined most significantly from the previous month throughout Jan ’21, followed by Niobrara and Eagle Ford DUC wells. Appalachia DUC wells declined to the lowest level on record.