Wells drilled but not completed approaching 9,000

Allan D. Hasty

The number of Wells drilled but not completed (DUCs) rose by more than 200 for the fourth month running. At the end of January, the total number of DUCs for the 7 major onshore producing areas in the lower 48 states was 8,798, up 207 on the prior month. This increase all occurred in the Permian Basin.

Note that, every month, the EIA restate prior months’ figures, with revisions going back four years. 

The number of completions rebounded to 1,246, the highest since August 2018, as E&P companies started the year with replenished (if somewhat reduced) budgets.

The EIA is projecting production of 8,312,000 bpd for February, up 89,000 bpd on January. They are projecting 8,400,000 bpd for March, up 84,000 on the February projection.

Last month, after the big dip in completions in December, the EIA scaled back the growth in oil production for January and February. I speculated at the time that the EIA were being too pessimistic and so it has been proved. January’s production estimate is 57,000 bpd higher than previously forecast and February’s projection has been revised upwards by 133,000 bpd.

Many US land E&P companies have now announced 2019 capex plans with most stating that spending will be between 10% and 20% lower than 2018 levels. Despite that, most plan to increase year-on-year oil production by about 20%.



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