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Visualizing US Oil & Gas Production (Through February 2020)

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 135,279 horizontal wells in 13 US states, through February 2020. Cumulative oil and gas production from these wells reached 14.3 billion bbl and 162 Tcf of natural gas. Ohio is deselected in several views, as it has a larger reporting lag.

Total production

Tight oil production in these states declined slightly in the first 2 months of this year, before the start of the latest oil crisis. I expect that after upcoming revisions, production for February will come in at about 8 million bo/d.

Supply Projection dashboard

However, last week only 271 rigs were drilling horizontal wells, according to the Baker Hughes rig count; the lowest number in over a decade. If such a pace of drilling and completion would hold, our (still publicly available) Supply Projection dashboard shows what would happen to future tight oil & gas supply. Assuming no changes in drilling and well productivity, tight oil production would fall over time to a level closer to 4.5 million bo/d, with almost 2/3rd of production coming from the Permian:

US tight oil outlook at the current pace of drilling activity

You can use the parameters in this dashboard to change the future rig count and rig/well productivity to make your own projections.

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. The charts reveal that well productivity has consistently grown over time, but progress has been smaller since 2016. Within these basins, newer wells recover just below 200 thousand barrels of oil in the first 2 years on production, on average.

Top operators

The final tab (“Top operators”) shows the total production of the 5 largest operators. These companies (EOG, Occidental, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips and Concho Resources) were together good for about 2 million bo/d of tight oil production in February.

Operator ranking

They do however not have the best performing wells. In the following overview you can find a ranking of all the operators with at least 100 operated wells in the major tight oil basins, based on their average 2 year cumulative oil production:

Operator ranking within the major tight oil basins. Horizontal oil wells only.

Parsley Energy, a Permian-only operator, has the best performance based on this metric, with almost 200 thousand barrels of oil recovered in the first 2 years, on average.

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. These straight lines indicate that production from these wells falls on average with a close to harmonic decline (b-factor = 1).


Early next week we will have a new post on North Dakota, which will release April production data in the coming days. A huge drop is expected, as operators have shut-in many wells during or before that month.

Production data is subject to revisions.


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

  • 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:

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Enno Peters's picture

Thank Enno for the Post!

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