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Visualizing Permian oil & gas production (through March 2019)

ShaleProfile Analytics, visualization of Permian oil & gas production

Permian – update through March 2019

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.


These interactive presentations contain the latest oil & gas production data from all 21,384 horizontal wells in the Permian (Texas & New Mexico) that started producing since 2008/2009, through March 2019.

Visit ShaleProfile blog to explore the full interactive dashboards

Oil production from horizontal wells in the Permian set another record in March, at over 3.2 million bo/d, even before upward revisions. As the blue areas indicate, in March more than 2/3rd of total production came from wells that began production since 2018. Gas production also set a new record at close to 11 Bcf/d (switch “Product” to gas), although not all of it is wanted due to sometimes negative pricing.

As the “Well quality” tab reveals, initial performance has increased since 2016, but nowhere near the gains seen in the 2013-2016 time frame. This also doesn’t take into account that laterals kept increasing, as did proppant loadings.

The biggest change was in the number of well completions; in 2018, on average more than 400 horizontal wells came online each month, versus less than 200 in 2016.

The final dashboard, “Top operators”, displays the production history of the 5 largest operators. They all set new output records in 2019.

The ‘Advanced Insights’ presentation is displayed below:

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

The 2,254 horizontal wells that started production in 2016 have so far recovered the most oil, on average: 200 thousand barrels of oil. They are still producing at an average rate just north of 100 bo/d, and they may recover another 200 thousand barrels before they are down to 20 bo/d (extrapolate the curve to arrive at roughly this number).

The following screenshot (from our advanced analytics service) shows how initial well productivity has evolved in the 6 top-producing counties in the Permian.

Click on the image to see a high-res version of it. The graph shows the average oil recovery in the first year on production, by county and production start date. Increases in lateral length and proppant use greatly boosted initial productivity in the past 6 years. The best well performance is now seen in Midland and Lea. Interestingly, performance dropped somewhat in Reeves County in the last year.

The WSJ recently published 2 articles about the Permian, for which they also found use in our analytics service (behind paywall):

  1. A Leader of America’s Fracking Boom Has Second Thoughts (last week)
  2. A Fracking Experiment Fails to Pump as Predicted (today)


Later this month, we will be at the URTeC in Denver, from July 22nd until the 24th. Drop by our booth, #951, if you are in the area, for a chat and a personalized demo!

Early next week we will have a post on the Eagle Ford, followed by an update on all covered states in the US.

Production data is 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 proration data.
  • OCD in New Mexico. Individual well production data is provided.


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Twitter: @ShaleProfile
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Facebook: ShaleProfile

Enno Peters's picture

Thank Enno for the Post!

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jul 5, 2019 11:00 am GMT

OPEC looks like they're extending their existing cuts another period of time moving forward-- I have to assume that's still just good news for US producers, right?

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