NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. shale production is expected to fall for an 11th consecutive month in October, according to a U.S. government forecast released on Monday, on the back of a two-year global rout in oil markets.
October oil production is set to drop by 61,000 barrels per day to 4.41 million bpd, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s drilling productivity report, the lowest output since March 2014.
The biggest decline was in the Eagle Ford in Texas, which saw a fall of 46,000 bpd to nearly 982,000 bpd. In North Dakota, Bakken oil production is set to drop by some 28,000 bpd to 914,000 bpd.
While oil prices are trading at less than half of their value from mid-2014, they have recovered from 13-year lows earlier this year, recently even reaching $50 a barrel <LCoc1>. That has allowed at least some production declines to be tempered in the Permian, the largest U.S. shale basin by production.
Permian output from West Texas is set to rise by 22,000 bpd to nearly 2 million bpd, its second monthly increase.
Total natural gas production, meanwhile, is forecast to decline for an eighth consecutive month in October to 45.3 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd), the lowest level since March 2015, the EIA said.
That would be down about 0.3 bcfd from September, making it the smallest monthly decline since May, it noted.
The biggest regional decline was expected to be in the Eagle Ford, down 0.2 bcfd from September to 5.6 bcfd in October, the lowest level of output in the basin since November 2013, the EIA said.
October output in the Marcellus formation, the biggest U.S. shale gas field, was expected to ease by less than 0.1 bcfd from September to 17.8 bcfd. That would be the eighth monthly decline in a row, falling to the lowest level since December.
Separately, EIA added drilled but uncompleted (DUC) wells to its report this month. The report showed total DUCs declined by 34 in August from July to 5,031, the lowest since January 2015.
DUCs in the Permian rose by 38 to 1,348, its highest since at least December 2013, while Eagle Ford DUCs dropped by 36 to 1,261, its lowest since January 2015. In the Marcellus, DUCs fell by 16 to 642, its lowest since at least December 2013.
(Reporting by Catherine Ngai and Scott DiSavino; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Andrea Ricci)