EIA Makes Big Changes to Monthly Drilling Report, Combines M-U

MDN’s favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), has just made big changes to our favorite monthly report–the Drilling Productivity Report (DPR). The DPR is the EIA’s best guess, based on expert data crunchers, as to how much each of the U.S.’s seven major shale plays will produce for both oil and natural gas in the coming month. Until now, the EIA has always treated the Marcellus (primarily drilling in PA and WV) and the Utica (primarily in OH) as two separate shale plays. Beginning with this month’s report, they are combined into “Appalachia.” The stated reason for the change: “With the increasing number of wells in Pennsylvania being drilled into the Utica formation and some wells in Ohio producing from the Marcellus shale, the previous regional definitions based on surface boundaries are becoming less meaningful, especially where the two plays overlap. Furthermore, combining the relatively small number of active rigs across the broader Appalachia region should improve the precision of our productivity estimates.” That’s not the only big change. EIA also added a new shale play to the list–the Anadarko Basin (found mostly in Oklahoma, with a few counties in Texas). Because of the addition of the Anadarko, natural gas production is predicted to jump from last month’s predicted 52 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) for August, to a whopping projected 59 Bcf/d in September. The newly combined Marcellus/Utica is projected to go from 24.3 Bcf/d in August to 24.6 Bcf/d in September, up 350 million cubic feet per day. Yikes! Combining the two regions really puts it in a different light…

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