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EIA: U.S. Oil Output in Top Shale Regions to Hit Six-Month High in June

5/13/2024

(Reuters) — U.S. oil output from top shale-producing regions will rise in June to its highest in six months, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its monthly Drilling Productivity Report on Monday.

Production in the top basins will reach 9.85 million barrels per day (bpd), its highest since December, the EIA said.

Shale production, which represents about three-quarters of total U.S. oil output, is rising due to improved well productivity, with production per new rig in the Permian basin expected to reach 1,400 bpd next month, up from 1,386 in May. That would mark the highest monthly output per rig since November 2021.

Output in the largest U.S. oilfield, the Permian that straddles West Texas and New Mexico, is due to rise by 17,970 bpd to 6.19 million bpd, the EIA said.

Production in the Eagle Ford in southeastern Texas was forecast to climb to 1.11 million bpd, its highest since December, the EIA said. In the Bakken, output was set to increase marginally by 52 bpd to 1.31 million bpd, also the strongest since December.

Total natural gas output in the big shale basins will slide to a five-month low of 99.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in June from 99.5 Bcf/d in May, EIA projected.

That compares with a monthly record gas output high of 101.9 Bcf/d in the big shale basins in November 2023.

U.S. gas production is expected to decline in 2024 as producers reduce drilling activities after prices fell to 3-1/2-year lows in February and March.

In Appalachia, the biggest U.S. shale gas basin spanning Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, output is set to slide to a 13-month low of 35.8 Bcf/d in June from 36.0 Bcf/d in May. Appalachia output hit a record 37.2 Bcf/d in December 2023.

However, the EIA expects new Appalachia gas well production per rig to rise to a 29-month high of 28.6 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) in June.

If correct, that would be a 22nd straight monthly increase in new well production per rig, which peaked at 34.4 MMcf/d in Appalachia in December 2020.

The EIA said producers drilled 864 oil and gas wells in April and completed 858.

Total drilled but uncompleted (DUC) oil and gas wells rose by six to 4,510 in April, the most since January, EIA said.

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