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Permian propels US shale crude output

13 Nov 2017, 7.36 pm GMT

Permian propels US shale crude output

Houston, 13 November (Argus) — US shale crude output is expected to rise by 80,000 b/d to 6.17mn b/d in December, continuing an upward trend, according to new data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The Permian basin in Texas and New Mexico will account for the bulk of the increase, the EIA said in its latest monthly Drilling Productivity Report. Permian basin production should rise by 58,000 b/d from November to December to about 2.69mn b/d.

Output in the top-producing Permian has been more resilient than in other regions during the downturn in commodity prices because of lower extraction costs. Midstream companies are investing heavily to add takeaway capacity out of the region because of the expected rise in output and increasing interest in exporting US crude.

Production in the Eagle Ford shale in south Texas is expected to be flat at about 1.22mn b/d in December.

The EIA earlier this year revised downward its estimates for Eagle Ford shale production in part because of the impact of Hurricane Harvey on production, drilling and completion activities in southeast Texas. Harvey hit the Texas coast on 25 August.

Crude production in the Anadarko basin, which was added to the list of major shale plays earlier this year, is expected to rise by 6,000 b/d to 480,000 b/d in December. The basin includes 24 counties in Oklahoma and five in Texas.

The EIA has also combined the Utica and Marcellus shales into one category dubbed Appalachia, which includes areas in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. Crude output in the Appalachia region should increase by 3,000 b/d in December to 111,000 b/d. Appalachia is the top natural gas producing region with output next month expected to exceed 26 Bcf/d (737mn m³/d).

Shale crude output in the Niobrara should grow by 7,000 b/d to 523,000 b/d in December. The Niobrara is in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming.

Bakken crude output should rise by 6,000 b/d to stay at about 1.1mn b/d. The Bakken region includes 15 counties in North Dakota and five counties in Montana.

Oil production in the Haynesville shale in Louisiana should remain flat at 45,000 b/d.

The EIA's monthly report bases its estimates on the rig count combined with existing productivity data and estimated changes in existing production.

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