EIA Drilling Productivity Report Update – Feb ’22
According to the EIA’s most recent Drilling Productivity Report, U.S. oil output is expected to rebound to a two year high 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 ’22 production levels were revised 58,400 barrels per day (bpd), or 0.7%, above levels previously forecasted while finishing 111,600 bpd, or 1.3%, above previous month levels. Mar ’22 production levels are expected to increase by an additional 109,000 bpd, or 1.3%, from the Feb ’22 revised production levels, reaching a two year high level.
The Mar ’22 projected month-over-month increase in oil production would be the 12th experienced throughout the past 13 months. A pandemic related record large month-over-month decline in oil production was experienced throughout May ’20, 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 (+71,000 bpd) region, followed by the Eagle Ford (+23,700 bpd) and Bakken (+6,400 bpd) regions. The Permian region is expected to account for nearly two thirds of the total projected increase in production levels throughout the month.
Mar ’22 oil production is expected to remain higher on a YOY basis for the 11th consecutive month, finishing 10.2% above previous year levels. Oil production had finished lower on a YOY basis over 12 consecutive months through Apr ’21. Mar ’22 oil production volumes are expected to remain 5.3% below pre-pandemic seasonal levels, however.
Jan ’22 U.S. drilled-but-uncompleted (DUC) wells declined 4.1% from the previous month, reaching an eight 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 19th experienced in a row.
Permian DUC wells declined most significantly from the previous month throughout Jan ’22, followed by Eagle Ford and Bakken DUC wells. Eagle Ford, Appalachia, Bakken and Niobrara DUC wells all declined to the lowest levels on record.
Well completions have outpaced new well drilling over 19 consecutive months through Jan ’22. The deviation between completed and drilled wells reached an 11 month low level throughout the month of January, however.