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U.S. shale oil basins to decline

Only Permian shale is expected to show increase in oil production from last year.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Nov. 10, 2015 at 6:25 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Only the Permian shale basin in the southern United States is expected to record a year-on-year increase in oil production, federal data show.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration in a monthly report on drilling productivity found most of the seven inland shale basins that account for nearly all of the domestic oil production growth between 2011-14 are now in decline.

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Energy companies are spending less on exploration and production because lower crude oil prices translate to less capital available for investments. The trend in spending is reflected in the decline in the number of rigs deployed across North America.

Oil field services company Weatherford said in its report for the third quarter it trimmed capital spending plans for full-year 2015 by $100 million to $650 million, more than 50 percent lower than last year. Early this year, the company said it planned to cut staff by about 11,000, but would now increase that to 14,000 and close five of its seven manufacturing and service facilities.

EIA in its drilling productivity report found only the Permian shale basin that straddles the border of Texas and New Mexico and the Utica shale in the U.S. Midwest are expected to report increased in production from November.

From November to December, the Eagle Ford shale basin in Texas is expected to decline the most in terms of overall barrels, with about 78,000 barrels per day disappearing by December. In terms of percent, the mid-continent Niobrara shale loses the most, with an expected decline of 6.2 percent.

Year-on-year, only the Permian basin is expected to show a net increase in crude oil production.

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