In March, the number of fracking operations started reached its highest level in a year and the number of completed wells in the Permian Basin in the first quarter exceeded the required output maintenance level. Oil production in the United States is therefore set to rise in the current quarter, but will likely slow again later in the year.
Rystad said the final count of started operations in the United States in March would stand at about 1,064 wells – exceeding the January 2021 activity level by about 6.5%.
Nearly all major basins are positioned for at least production maintenance in the second quarter, or even some growth. The only exceptions are the Bakken and Anadarko regions.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) anticipates that by May, the level of production in the Permian Basin will reach 4.5 million bpd – the highest level in a year. Many companies are trying to boost production and speed up exploration – brought to a halt by the bitter winter in Texas – in order to carry out their plans against a background of rising demand for hydrocarbons.
Analysts say that maintaining production levels in the Permian Basin requires some 300 active wells to be completed in a month – meaning that production will rise already in this quarter.
The U.S. oil industry is also trying to reduce carbon emissions. In the Permian Basin, the intensity of flaring has declined to 1 %.
According to the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO), between 2011 and 2019, the intensity of methane emissions in the Permian Basin fell 77 %. And public companies have a much lower flaring intensity. But many experts have warned that pipelines in the Basin could be empty by the end of the year if demand declines. Major pipeline companies are exploring ways to ship other products in those lines