The state of Shale Gas and Oil in the U.S.A. today

by Andy May, November 20, 2018 in WUWT

A few news items from The Shale Gas News, by Bill desRosiers of Cabot Oil & Gas. The main paragraphs below are adapted from desRosiers, but I’ve added some detail. Things are looking very good for the U.S. oil, gas and coal industries.

  • U.S. crude oil and natural gas production increased in 2017, with fewer wells. The total number of wells producing crude oil and natural gas in the United States fell to 991,000 in 2017, down from a peak of 1,039,000 wells in 2014. This recent decline in the number of wells reflects advances in technology and drilling techniques. EIA’s updated U.S. Oil and Natural Gas Wells by Production Rate report shows how daily production rates of individual wells contributed to U.S. total crude oil and natural gas production in 2017.

    The well efficiency gains, in part, reflect an increase in the proportion of horizontal wells. The number of vertical wells decreased from 940,000 in 2014 to 864,000 in 2017. The number of horizontal wells increased from 99,000 in 2014 to 127,000 in 2017, an increase of 28%. This is important since only one percent of vertical wells produce 100 barrels of oil per day (BOPD) or more, but 30% of horizontal wells do. Typically, a horizontal well costs about twice as much as a vertical well to the same reservoir.

    U.S. oil production grew from 10 million BOPD to 11 million BOPD between December 2017 and July 2018. Over the same period natural gas production grew from 97 BCF (billion cubic feet) to 100 BCF. Figures 1, 2, and 3 show the total number of wells drilled and the total oil and natural gas production.