WASHINGTON, April 17 (UPI) -- Oil production from some of the top shale basins in the United States is expected to increase by 70,000 barrels per day next month, the Energy Department said.
In a weekly update, the Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, said it expected the gains to come from the combined output from the Bakken, Niobrara, Permian and Eagle Ford shale basins.
EIA said it expected the Permian basin in the southern United States to show the most growth, while a spring thaw in Northern Plains states may disrupt some activity in the Bakken region between mid-April and June.
EIA said flat oil prices and rising costs meant energy companies may pull back on future spending on exploration and development in the shale basins, though increasing drilling efficiency may offset the loss.
Nevertheless, EIA said annual reports from oil and natural gas companies show spending on exploration and production activities increased 5 percent last year to $18 billion, though property acquisition in the shale areas declined.
Total spending in the upstream, or refining sector, was relatively flat last year after an annual growth rate of 11 percent per year in the ten-year period ending in 2012.