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US - update through March 2020

These interactive presentations contain the latest oil & gas production data from 136,302 horizontal wells in 13 US states, through March 2020. Cumulative oil and gas production from these wells reached 14.5 billion bbl and 165 Tcf of natural gas.


Visit ShaleProfile blog to explore the full interactive dashboard

Total production

As the graph shows, tight oil production from horizontal wells set a record last November, at 8.3 million bo/d. It declined slightly through March, also after upcoming upward revisions I believe, before the covid-19 crisis really set in. The story was similar for natural gas production, which made a high of 81.4 Bcf/d last November (toggle the Product switch).

Supply Projection dashboard

After 4 months of plunging drilling activity, the fall in the horizontal rig count has somewhat stabilized in the last 2 weeks and currently 226 rigs are drilling horizontal wells in the Lower 48 states, according to the Baker Hughes rig count (68% decline over 4 months). Most of these rigs are in the Permian Basin (123), while the Haynesville was the only large basin in which activity has picked up in the last 2 months. Since the end of last year it has attracted more interest than the Marcellus.

In our Supply Projection dashboard, the effect of these dramatic changes is visible:


Tight oil outlook at constant rig count and productivity.

Based on the current rig count and assuming no changes in productivity (unrealistic but interesting), we project a decline of 50% in tight oil output and a 1/3rd fall in natural gas production by the end of the decade, counting from their recent highs.

Well productivity

In the “Well quality” tab you can find the production profiles for all these wells, with the main tight oil basins pre-selected. Improvements have continued in recent years, but the rate has fallen. Wells that were completed in the last few years are on track to recover just over 200 thousand barrels of oil in the first 3 years on production, on average, with significant variance between the basins.

Top operators

The final tab (“Top operators”) shows the total production of the 10 largest tight oil (or gas) operators. Exxon Mobil has become the clear number 3, after EOG and Occidental (which acquired Anadarko last year).

Advanced Insights


This “Ultimate recovery” overview shows the relationship between production rates and cumulative production over time. The oil basins are preselected and the wells are grouped by the year in which production started.


Early next week we will have a new post on North Dakota, which just released May production data (already available in our subscription services). The state saw a larger than 300k b/d m-o-m decline, the largest ever.

Production data is subject to revisions.


For these presentations, we used data gathered from the sources listed below.

  • FracFocus.org
  • Arkansas Oil & Gas Commission
  • Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission
  • Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. Similar to Texas, lease/unit production is allocated over wells in order to estimate their individual production histories.
  • Montana Board of Oil and Gas
  • New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission
  • North Dakota Department of Natural Resources
  • Ohio Department of Natural Resources
  • Oklahoma Corporation Commission – Oil & Gas Division
  • Oklahoma Tax Commission
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • Texas Railroad Commission. Individual well production is estimated through the allocation of lease production data over the wells in a lease, and from pending lease production data.
  • Utah Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining
  • Automated Geographic Reference Center of Utah.
  • West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
  • West Virginia Geological & Economic Survey
  • Wyoming Oil & Gas Conservation Commission

Visit our blog to read the full post and use the interactive dashboards to gain more insight: https://bit.ly/38D7XnA

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