US crude oil production has grown steadily in 2022 thanks to increased energy demand in the US and internationally. GlobalData notes that the majority of this production has been conducted in the Lower 48 (L48) region, which represented nearly three-fourths of total production. The data and analytics company notes that this upward swing is expected to continue in the medium term following sustained investment in the area.
The major oil plays within the L48 region include the Permian, Bakken, Eagle Ford and DJ basins. Together, they are expected to cumulatively produce around 7.5 million barrels per day (mmbd) of crude oil in 2022.
GlobalData’s latest report, Unconventional Production in the US Lower 48, H1-2022, reveals that crude oil production in the L48 is projected to increase, predominantly in the Permian Basin due to sustained investment from operators in drilling and completion of wells, supported by a large skilled workforce.
Ravindra Puranik, Oil & Gas Analyst at GlobalData, comments, “The Permian Basin benefits from well-developed infrastructure and is close to the refining and crude export terminals at the Gulf Coast. These, combined with strong investment and a powerhouse workforce, will help the basin achieve an estimated production of 5.0 mmbd in 2022.”
GlobalData’s report also reviews the natural gas production across major shales, including Marcellus, Utica, Haynesville, and Scoop-Stack. Aside from a few brief phases of downturn in 2020 and 2021, gas production in the US shales has largely maintained an upward trend since 2018.
Puranik adds, “Growing domestic energy demand in 2022 amid sustained economic recovery from the pandemic is expected to support steady growth in gas production across the US L48. Additionally, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has prompted European gas importers to seek alternatives to Russian gas, further prompting US gas producers to lift their output.”
As per GlobalData estimates, the biggest contribution to US natural gas production growth is expected to come from the Marcellus and Permian resource plays. Marcellus, the largest natural gas formation in the country, contributed nearly one-third of the US unconventional gas output in 2021.
Puranik concludes, “Currently, shale oil and gas producers are primarily focusing on maximising value for their shareholders. This is in stark contrast to the previous oil price downturn during the 2014-16 period, when companies kept adding drilling and completion crews to drive output. The current scenario is reflected in the number of rigs, which are still below pre-pandemic levels. This indicates that operators are following a measured approach at capital spending and production growth, despite the recent surge in oil prices.”