EIA Drilling Productivity Report Update – Sep ’21
According to the EIA’s most recent Drilling Productivity Report, U.S. oil output is expected to rebound to an 18 month high level throughout the month of October. 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.
Sep ’21 production levels were revised 17,400 barrels per day (bpd), or 0.2%, below levels previously forecasted but remained 45,800 bpd above previous month levels. Oct ’21 production levels are expected to increase by an additional 67,500 bpd, or 0.8%, from the Sep ’21 revised production levels, reaching an 18 month high level.
The Oct ’21 projected month-over-month increase in oil production would be the seventh experienced throughout the past eight months and the largest experienced throughout the past five months. A pandemic related record large month-over-month decline in oil production was experienced throughout 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 (+53,400 bpd) region, followed by the Niobrara (+9,100 bpd) and Bakken (+5,400 bpd) regions. The Permian region is expected to account for nearly 80% of the total projected increase in production levels throughout the month. Oil production is expected to decline most significantly from the previous month within the Anadarko (-1,800 bpd) region.
Oct ’21 oil production is expected to remain higher on a YOY basis for the sixth consecutive month, finishing 3.8% above previous year levels. Oil production had finished lower on a YOY basis over 12 consecutive months through Apr ’21. Oct ’21 oil production volumes are expected to remain 11.1% below 2019 seasonal levels, however.
Aug ’21 U.S. drilled-but-uncompleted (DUC) wells declined 4.2% from the previous month, reaching a four 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 14th experienced in a row.
Permian DUC wells declined most significantly from the previous month throughout Aug ’21, followed by Eagle Ford and Bakken DUC wells. Eagle Ford, Appalachia, Bakken and Niobrara DUC wells all declined to the lowest levels on record.