API: U.S. oil well completions increase

April 16, 2013 at 6:30 AM

WASHINGTON, April 16 (UPI) -- Natural gas well completion in the United States declined while a reverse trend was seen for oil wells, the American Petroleum Institute said.

API reported that 8,705 oil wells were completed during the first quarter of 2013, an increase of 20 percent compared to the same period last year.

The U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration reported last week that U.S oil production is expected to "grow rapidly" through 2016. It expects U.S. crude oil production to go from an average of 6.5 million barrels per day recorded last year to 7.9 million bpd next year.

Natural gas well completion, however, declined 26 percent when compared to the first quarter of 2012 to 2,175 wells. Energy investment bank PPHB LP states that slowdown may be in part to financial constraints on drillers and the severe winter experienced by some gas-producing states.

API has been critical of U.S. President Barack Obama's energy policies. API Statistics Director Hazem Arafa credits oil growth to activity on private lands.

"Additional access to our own vast energy resources and streamlined federal permitting would allow for more opportunities to produce U.S. energy while creating more American jobs and generating more revenue for our government," he said in a statement.

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