Crude oil production:I don't know if folks were surprised by that or not. I took it in stride but did not think much about it. I missed the analysis by Rystad Energy which was posted June 23, 2016:
- April, 2016: 1,041,007 bopd
- March, 2016: 1,111,421 bopd
- Month-over-month change: a decrease of 70,414 bopd.
- Month-over-month change: a decrease of 6%.
- Comment: that's as big a decrease as I can remember.
Rystad Energy expects horizontal oil completion activity in the US Shale to outpace drilling operations by 30% in 2H16, resulting in the contraction of DUC inventory by 800 wells.
These additional completions will support total US oil output by providing an additional 300,000 -350,000 bopd to the exit-2016 rate.
The additional output will be more than sufficient to balance the base production decline. The inventory of 4,000 drilled but uncompleted oil wells (DUCs) is estimated to hold close to 2 billion barrels of oil reserves.
“Research shows that operators are now starting to complete wells that have previously been put on hold deliberately. This comes as more than 90% of the accumulated oil DUC inventory can be commercially completed at a WTI of 50 USD/bbl,” says Artem Abramov, Senior Analyst and product manager at Rystad Energy.
The recent extreme production decline - among the key crude producing states, North Dakota suffered from an all-time high historical decline rate of 70,000 bopd in April 2016 - fell far outside a natural 10,000 - 20,000 bopd range, which one would expect as a result of current completion activity and mature base production.
The significant decline acceleration appears to have come from older “low decline” wells brought on-line before 2016.
“It is not the first time such temporary shifts in base decline are observed, and they were caused by road restrictions imposed by the state over the month. This trend is unlikely to persist and should not be extrapolated to the US Shale industry in general,” says Abramov.
Where Is All This Gasoline Going To Go?