EIA Drilling Productivity Report Update – Apr ’21
According to the EIA’s most recent Drilling Productivity Report, U.S. oil output is expected to rebound to a four month high level throughout the month of May. 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.
Apr ’21 production levels were revised 142,500 barrels per day (bpd), or 1.9%, above levels previously forecasted, finishing 5,000 bpd, or 0.1%, above Mar ’21 production levels. May ’21 production levels are expected to increase by an additional 11,700 bpd, or 0.2%, from the Apr ’21 revised production levels, rebounding to a four month high level.
The May ’21 projected month-over-month increase in oil production would be the third experienced in a row. 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 (+52,200 bpd) region. The projected increase in Permian production levels is expected to more than offset a combined 40,600 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 Bakken (-12,200 bpd) and Andarko (-10,500 bpd) regions.
May ’21 oil production is expected to increase on a YOY basis for the first time in the past 13 months, finishing 12.4% above previous year levels.
Mar ’21 U.S. drilled-but-uncompleted (DUC) wells declined 2.5% from the previous month, reaching a 28 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. The monthly decline in DUC wells was the ninth experienced in a row.
Permian DUC wells declined most significantly from the previous month throughout Mar ’21, followed by Niobrara and Eagle Ford DUC wells. Appalachia DUC wells declined to the lowest level on record.