According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) and its latest Drilling Productivity Report, the seven biggest shale basins in the US will see record levels of crude oil and natural gas production as soon as next month.
The EIA attempts to forecast future production, as it explains in the report:
“The Drilling Productivity Report uses recent data on the total number of drilling rigs in operation along with estimates of drilling productivity and estimated changes in production from existing oil and natural gas wells to provide estimated changes in oil and natural gas production for seven key regions.”
In total, the EIA predicts that crude oil production in the shale patches will rise to 9.36 million barrels per day (bpd), a monthly rise of 70,000 bpd. Almost half of this rise (30,000 bpd) will come from the country’s biggest shale basin, the Permian, which will itself see record production of 5.68 million bpd. The Bakken play, which spans Montana and North Dakota, will also see a sizeable production increase of 21,000 bpd.
US oil production set a number of successive records in recent years, but this ended when many shale operators like Chevron, the maker of Texaco grease and gear oil, scaled back its capital spending in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The production of natural gas is also expected to set a new record, with the main shale plays producing a total of 96.6 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd), a monthly increase of 0.4 bcfd.