U.S. shale oil output to soar in April

*US shale production.

*Permian to hit fresh record

14 March 2017, Washington, D.C — U.S. shale oil production in April was set for its biggest monthly increase since October as output in the Permian Basin, America’s fastest-growing shale oil region, was expected to hit another record high, government data showed on Monday.

Total shale oil production was expected to rise 109,000 barrels per day to 4.96 million b/d, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s drilling productivity report.

Oil production in the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico, the largest U.S. shale oil field, was set to rise 79,000 b/d to 2.29 million b/d, the highest level on records dating back to 2007.

In the Eagle Ford region in Texas, output was expected to grow nearly 28,000 b/d to 1.14 million b/d, the highest level since November.

Production in the Bakken, however, was set to drop 10,000 b/d to 964,000 b/d, the only month-on-month decline across all seven basins used in the report. That would be the third consecutive monthly decline in the North Dakota basin.

Meanwhile, U.S. natural gas production was projected to increase to a record high 49.6 billion cubic feet per day in April, the EIA said.

That would be up almost 0.6 bcfd from March and would be the fourth monthly increase in a row.

The EIA projected gas output would increase in all of the big shale basins in April, including the Eagle Ford, where production had been declining since January 2016.

Output in the Marcellus formation in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, meanwhile, was set to grow by almost 0.2 bcfd to a record high near 19.2 bcfd in April, a sixth consecutive increase.

EIA also said producers drilled 807 wells and completed 716 in the biggest shale basins in February, leaving total drilled but uncompleted wells (DUCs) up 91 at 5,443, the most since April 2016.

(Reporting by Catherine Ngai and Scott DiSavino; Editing by Marguerita Choy

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