While production has stayed ahead of the drastic rig count reduction in Southern Texas, the latest estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predict that for the first time in months now, oil production will drop in the Eagle Ford region.
The EIA released the estimates last Monday. According to its data, the Eagle Ford Shale will produce petroleum at a rate of 1,733 thousand barrels per day during March. That number is expected to drop 10,000 barrels in April as the slow-down finally catches up in the region.
However, there is still growth expected for natural gas production. March estimates total natural gas production at 7,518 Million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d). In April, that number is expected to grow noticeably to 7,532 MMcf/d.
This isn’t much of a shock considering rig counts have slipped weekly since the beginning of 2015. It was only a matter of time before offline rigs, the oil glut and barrel prices sent consequences upstream. The EIA did point out, however, that new-well oil production per rig will actually increase. This could be a sign that rigs that remain online are operating with prime efficiency. The EIA estimates that from this month to the next, barrels produced per day of new-well oil will increase from 660 to 680.
The Eagle Ford isn’t alone in experiencing a cut in production next month. The Bakken fields are expected to see a cut of 8,000 barrels and the Niobrara Play is estimated to drop 5,000 barrels per day. Only the Permian Basin and the Utica are expected to see an increase in overall production with 21,000 barrels per day and 3,000 barrels respectively.
The EIA Drilling Productivity Report uses recent data on the total number of drilling rigs in operation, estimates of drilling productivity and estimated changes in production from existing oil and natural gas wells to provide estimated changes in oil and natural gas production for seven key regions. Check out an info graph of the most recent estimates here.