EIA Drilling Productivity Report Update – Jan ’22
According to the EIA’s most recent Drilling Productivity Report, U.S. oil output is expected to rebound to a 23 month high level throughout the month of February. 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.
Jan ’22 production levels were revised 3,700 barrels per day (bpd), or 0.1%, below levels previously forecasted but remained 91,300 bpd above previous month levels. Feb ’22 production levels are expected to increase by an additional 104,900 bpd, or 1.2%, from the Jan ’22 revised production levels, reaching a 23 month high level.
The Feb ’22 projected month-over-month increase in oil production would be the 11th experienced throughout the past 12 months and the largest experienced throughout the past three 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 (+80,300 bpd) region, followed by the Eagle Ford (+12,400 bpd) and Bakken (+7,800 bpd) regions. The Permian region is expected to account for over three quarters of the total projected increase in production levels throughout the month.
Feb ’22 oil production is expected to remain higher on a YOY basis for the tenth consecutive month, finishing 28.4% above previous year levels. Oil production had finished lower on a YOY basis over 12 consecutive months through Apr ’21. Feb ’22 oil production volumes are expected to remain 6.5% below pre-pandemic seasonal levels, however.
Dec ’21 U.S. drilled-but-uncompleted (DUC) wells declined 4.4% from the previous month, reaching a seven and a half 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 18th experienced in a row.
Permian DUC wells declined most significantly from the previous month throughout Dec ’21, followed by Eagle Ford, Bakken and Appalachia 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 18 consecutive months through Dec ’21. The deviation between completed and drilled wells reached a ten month low level throughout the month of December, however.