EIA Drilling Productivity Report Update – Jul ’21
According to the EIA’s most recent Drilling Productivity Report, U.S. oil output is expected to rebound to a 16 month high level throughout the month of August. 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.
Jul ’21 production levels were revised 62,200 barrels per day (bpd), or 0.8%, above levels previously forecasted, rebounding to an eight month high level. Aug ’21 production levels are expected to increase by an additional 41,900 bpd, or 0.5%, from the Jul ’21 revised production levels, reaching a 16 month high level.
The Aug ’21 projected month-over-month increase in oil production would be the third experienced in a row. 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 (+53,300 bpd) region. The projected increase in Permian production levels is expected to more than offset a combined 1,900 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 (-3,900 bpd), Niobrara (-3,300 bpd) and Anadarko (-3,200 bpd) regions.
Aug ’21 oil production is expected to remain higher on a YOY basis for the fourth consecutive month, finishing 0.7% above previous year levels. Oil production had finished lower on a YOY basis over 12 consecutive months through Apr ’21. Aug ’21 oil production volumes are expected to remain 10.1% below 2019 seasonal levels, however.
Jun ’21 U.S. drilled-but-uncompleted (DUC) wells declined 4.1% from the previous month, reaching a three 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 12th experienced in a row and the largest experienced on record on a percentage basis.
Permian DUC wells declined most significantly from the previous month throughout Jun ’21, followed by Niobrara and Eagle Ford DUC wells. Appalachia and Niobrara DUC wells each declined to the lowest levels on record.