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Visualizing Permian Oil & Gas Production (Through December 2020)

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This article contains still images from the interactive dashboards available in the original blog post. To follow the instructions in this article, please use the interactive dashboards. Furthermore, they allow you to uncover other insights as well.


Visit ShaleProfile blog to explore the full interactive dashboard

These interactive presentations contain the latest oil & gas production data from all 29,694 horizontal wells in the Permian (Texas & New Mexico) that started producing from 2008/2009 onward, through December last year.

Total Production

Permian tight oil production was basically unchanged in December at close to 3.8 million bo/d (after upcoming revisions, hz. wells only). The ~3,700 horizontal wells that came online in 2020 replaced almost 1.7 million b/d of the underlying base decline of 2.0 million b/d for the year. Natural gas output was 15 Bcf/d in December,  close to the peak in October (15.1 Bcf/d).

Supply Projection

Since our update on this basin last month, only 5 more rigs returned here to drill horizontal wells (to 198 as of last week according to Baker Hughes), the lowest m-o-m growth since September. Nonetheless, this has again slightly raised our outlook for the basin,  as you can find in our Supply Projection dashboard:


Tight oil outlook in the Permian, by state, based on current drilling activity & productivity

The bottom chart shows our projection for Permian tight oil (hz wells) if the rig count would stay at this level. It reveals that production will soon bottom out and may start rising again. I expect to see more rigs coming back in the coming weeks, and therefore this outlook is likely to be revised upward.

Bloomberg used this dashboard in our subscription service, in which you can also change various assumptions including the future rig count, for this story last Friday: The Giants of U.S. Shale Are Proving OPEC Right With Discipline. They simulated what would happen if the horizontal rig count in the US would roughly double by year’s end, and found that the previous tight oil peak would be reached only by the end of next year.

Permit Activity

From our Permit Activity dashboard, we can easily see which operators have been most active in applying for new horizontal wells in 2021 through yesterday (March 18th):


Ranking of operators in the Permian, by the number of approved permits for new hz. wells.

As you can see, Occidental and Pioneer were most active this year, with 112 and 97 permits respectively. The interactive version of this dashboard also allows you to see the exact location of these permits, and download all the details.

Well productivity

In the ‘Well quality’ tab, in the interactive presentation at the top, you can find that well productivity was basically unchanged in 2020, compared with the year before. After normalizing for lateral length (a subscription-only feature), we find that overall performance is slightly down from 2016:


Well productivity in the Permian, normalized for a 1,000 ft of lateral, by vintage. Thickness indicates the relative well count.

Top Operators

In the final tab (“Top operators”) the production and well positions are displayed for the 10 largest producers in the Permian. After their recent acquisitions of Parsley and Concho, Pioneer Natural Resources and ConocoPhillips are now just ahead of Occidental in terms of output. Devon and WPX, which merged in January are here still listed on the 8th and 10th spot. Next month, with January production in, the output of the combined company will be shown, which should bring it on par with Diamondback and Exxon Mobil (although Diamondback is also on track to close its purchase of Guidon in Q2).

Advanced Insights

The ‘Advanced Insights’ presentation is displayed below:


This “Ultimate recovery” overview displays the average production rate for these wells, plotted against their cumulative recovery. Wells are grouped by the year in which production started.


We will have a new post on the Eagle Ford in the middle of next week.

Production and completion data are subject to revisions.

Note that a significant portion of production in the Permian comes from vertical wells and/or wells that started production before 2008, which are excluded from these presentations.


For these presentations, I used data gathered from the following sources:

  • Texas RRC. Oil production is estimated for individual wells, based on a number of sources, such as lease & pending production data, well completion & inactivity reports, regular well tests, and oil production data.
  • OCD in New Mexico. Individual well production data is provided.

Visit our blog to read the full post and use the interactive dashboards to gain more insight:

Follow us on Social Media:

Twitter: @ShaleProfile

LinkedIn: ShaleProfile

Facebook: ShaleProfile

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