Bakken leads U.S. oil plays in new production

The Bakken Formation leads all other major oil plays in the United States in new-well oil production per rig, according to the most recent monthly report by the U.S. Energy Information Adminstration. The Bakken still pales in comparison to total rig production to two Texas-area plays.

Month by month figures show there is an increase by five barrels a day per month for new rigs and an overall increase of 20,000 barrels a day per month for all rigs in the Bakken.

The agency projects 505 barrels a day for new rigs in the Bakken by the end of June and 510 barrels for new rigs by the end of July. In comparison, the mighty Eagle Ford play that makes a stripe across southeastern Texas is projected to produce 474 and 479 barrels per day, respectively, for the same months. Those two are followed quite far behind by the Niobrara play primarily in eastern Wyoming and northern Colorado with 132 and 134 barrels per day in the same time frame.

The Permian play in the southeast corner of New Mexico and western Texas drags at 132 and 134 barrels per day in the same period.

The other two plays tracked in the report, Haynesville Shale in northeast Texas, northwest Louisiana and a chunk of southwest Arkansas; and the Marcellus Formation in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and tiny bits of Ohio and Maryland are both primarily concentrated on natural gas extraction and have much lower oil figures.

The Permian Basin play, despite producing for around a century, continues to lead the way in overall production, though, at 1,566 barrels per day projected by the end of July. Eagle Ford is second at 1,429 projected for the same month and then newcomer the Bakken at 1,094 for the same period.

The Bakken continues to be a laggard in national gas capture compared to other plays. The play is capturing more than 3 billion less cubic feet per day of natural gas compared to the next lowest capture play, which is the Niobrara. In comparison, the Bakken is expected to capture 1.285 billion cubic feet per day compared to Niobrara’s 4.441 billion.

The greatest producer of natural gas is the Marcellus formation with nearly 15 billion cubic feet expected to be captured by the end of July.