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Visualizing Permian Oil & Gas Production (Through May 2022)

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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 the blog to explore the full interactive dashboard

After a few months hiatus, we’re now back with regular updates on unconventional developments in all the major US tight oil & gas basins!

This interactive presentation contains the latest oil & gas production data from all 37,174 horizontal wells in the Permian (Texas & New Mexico) that started producing from 2007/2008 onward, through May.

Total Production

Permian tight oil production rose to a new output record in May, at around 4.6 million b/d (after upcoming revisions, horizontal wells only). Not all this production is reported yet by the state agencies, thus the apparent drop in production in above chart. Natural gas production rose as well, to over 18 Bcf/d. You can view this by toggling the ‘Product’ selection to gas.

Drilling Activity

The horizontal rig count in the Permian has risen to 327 as of last week (according to Baker Hughes), with 97 of these located in New Mexico:



Oil rigs drilling horizontal oil wells in the L48 states. Source: Baker Hughes. WTI is shown on the right hand axis.

As you can see, the increase in drilling activity appears to have halted now that oil prices have come down from recent highs. Currently 60% (323 out of 543) of the rigs drilling for horizontal oil wells are active in the Permian Basin.

The following dashboard shows output in the top-10 producing counties in the Permian Basin:



Top 10 oil producing counties in the Permian.

Unconventional production in Eddy County (NM) just surpassed Midland. The graph also shows that although production is still growing in some counties, it has stagnated or fallen in others, notably Reeves.

Well productivity

In the “Well quality” tab, the production profiles for all the horizontal wells in the Permian Basin can be found. Here we also share how well performance in the top 3 oil-producing counties has developed over the past decade:


Well productivity and completion designs in Lea, Eddy and Midland. Horizontal wells since 2012 only.

The top chart reveals that well productivity, as measure by the cumulative oil recovered during the first year on production, has increased significantly over time, from 50-80 thousand barrels of oil in 2012, to around 200 thousand barrels of oil for wells coming online last year. However, you can also see that productivity has stagnated in Midland County, even before taking into account that laterals have slightly increased during the last few years, as shown in the 2nd chart from the top.

Top operators

In the final tab (“Top operators”) the production and well positions are displayed for the 15 largest producers in the Permian. Pioneer Natural Resources is well in the lead, with an output of half a million barrels per day.


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:

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