Report: Oil falling, but Eagle Ford, Bakken output on the rise

The full moon rises above an oil drilling rig Wednesday, May 14, 2014 in an aerial image taken near Karnes City. (William Luther/San Antonio Express-News)

The full moon rises above an oil drilling rig Wednesday, May 14, 2014 in an aerial image taken near Karnes City. (William Luther/San Antonio Express-News)

Oil prices are tumbling this year, but production from the Eagle Ford Shale and Bakken formation increased slightly between June and July, according to Bentek Energy.

Average oil production in the Eagle Ford in South Texas was 1.6 million barrels per day in July, up by about 10,000 daily barrels over June production.

It was an increase of about 17 percent, or 250,000 daily barrels, over production from July last year, according to Bentek, an analytics and forecasting unit of Platts.

The Bakken formation in North Dakota pumped 1.2 million barrels per day in July, up by about 500 barrels daily over June levels.

The North Dakota section of Bakken production (which is also in Montana, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta) was up about 90,000 barrels per day from July 2014.

“It is the flight to quality and higher returns that is keeping crude production going in those two key shale basins,” said Sami Yahya, Bentek energy analyst, in a press release. “Initial production rates have been improving, especially in the oily window of the Eagle Ford Basin. As well, producers in the Eagle Ford are currently drilling 2.5 wells per rig per month, which is higher than the national average of 1.5 wells. Drill times have been improved from an average of 15 days per well in 2014 to roughly 11 days per well in 2015.”

Drill times in the Bakken Shale have dropped from about 15 days per well late last year to about 13 days per well by the second quarter of this year, Yahya said.

“Substantial cost savings protocols alongside reduced drill times have kept internal rates of return (IRR) in the Bakken shale formation among the best in the country,” explained Yahya. “Current rates of return in the Bakken shale formation are around 15 percent, which is comparable to the 18 percent found in the Eagle Ford Basin.”

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