The production of shale oil, which accounts for more than half of the country’s crude oil output, is expected to fall 14 percent by 2017, primarily due to the recent crude oil price downturn, according to a new analysis from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The report, released Aug. 22, says shale oil output peaked last year at 4.9 million barrels a day or 52 percent of total U.S. crude oil production. But that total will decrease by 700,000 barrels per day, falling to 4.2 million barrels by 2017, according to the analysis. That drop is primarily due to low oil prices and the reduction in industry investment in production, according to the report.
Those production declines will be “mitigated by reductions in cost and improvements in drilling techniques,” according to the report. The EIA points to the use of more efficient hydraulic fracturing techniques and the application of multiwell-pad drilling, as well as changes in well completion designs, as factors that will increase the efficiency of well production.
As oil prices recover, the report notes, oil production from shale formations is expected to increase. The report says that, by 2019, Bakken oil production is projected to reach 1.3 million barrels per day, surpassing the Eagle Ford to become the largest shale oil-producing formation in the U.S.
To view the report: