Shale Oil Production in Bakken, Eagle Ford Flat in April: Platts' Bentek Energy

Production From These Two Prolific Shale Plays Still Up 20% Versus April 2014

May 29, 2015, 16:43 ET from Platts

DENVER, May 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Oil production from key shale formations in North Dakota and Texas were mostly flat in April versus March, according to Bentek Energy, an analytics and forecasting unit of Platts, a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture information.

Oil production from the Eagle Ford shale basin in Texas continued its flat trajectory in April, growing only 1000 barrels per day (b/d) month on month. The marginal growth (less than 1% from the March levels), signifies the on-going impact resulting from the suppressed oil pricing environment. Bakken shale in North Dakota remained relatively flat in April, increasing about 2000 b/d, or less than 1%.

In South Texas, Eagle Ford production averaged 1.6 million barrels per day in April, up 284,000 incremental barrels per day or nearly 22% higher than April 2014, said Sami Yahya, Bentek energy analyst. Additionally, crude oil production in the North Dakota section of the Bakken shale formation of the Williston Basin averaged 1.2 million b/d last month, Bentek data showed. This was 173,000 b/d higher than year ago levels.

"The number of active rigs in the Eagle Ford basin currently stands at 116 rigs, down 27 rigs from the previous month. The efficiency gains noted in the region---such as the trimming of average drill time per well from 13 to 11 days between 4Q2014 and 1Q2015---have helped in preventing oil production decline so far. Nonetheless, we do expect to see declines, however marginal, in Eagle Ford oil production as soon as next month," Yahya said.

Yahya said oil production in the Bakken Basin, however, is expected to continue to grow but at a slower pace.  "Producers will likely continue to focus on efficiency gains and shift their rigs to the core areas, where initial production rates are more favorable."

Bentek analysis shows that from April 2014 to April 2015, total U.S. crude oil production has increased by nearly 1 million b/d. 

"Prices of both Eagle Ford and Bakken shale oil have been on an upward trajectory since mid-March and reached a new year high by the end of April," said Jacqueline Puig, Platts associate editor of Americas crude. 

The Platts Eagle Ford Marker, a daily price assessment launched in October 2012 and reflecting the value of oil out of the Eagle Ford Shale formation in South Texas, was up 21% between January and April, with an average price of $54.37/b for the year. The marker has ranged between $46.22/b and $65.17/b since the beginning of this year. 

The price of oil out of the Bakken formation at Williston, North Dakota, was up 22% between January and April, with an average price of $47.55/b for the year, according to the Platts Bakken assessment. It has ranged between $38.43/b and $57.45/b since the beginning of January.

The Platts Bakken, introduced April 22, 2014, is a daily assessment of price for oil closest to the wellhead prior to determination of transportation by rail or pipe. The assessment reflects a sulfur content of 0.2% or less and an American Petroleum Institute (API)** gravity of 42 or less, similar to the nature of North Dakota Light Sweet crude. The  Platts Eagle Ford Marker reflects the value of a median 47-API Eagle Ford crude barrel, based on the crude's product yields and Platts product price assessments, adjusted for U.S. Gulf Coast logistics.

Platts introduced the world's first independent daily price reference valuing crude oil produced from a shale formation in May 2010 when it began assessing Bakken Blend shale oil injected into pipelines at Clearbrook, Minnesota, and Guernsey, Wyoming.

For more information on Platts price assessments methodology visit these links: Details of Platts Bakken and Platts Eagle Ford Marker.  Bentek Energy's shale oil production figures are derived from proprietary data models using publicly available data.  For more information on data models, reports or Bentek's methodology, please contact info@bentekenergy.com.

Platts will publish monthly updates via press release on Bakken and Eagle Ford shale oil production and price data.

Visit this link to see the Platts May 2014 special report: Bakken: The King in the North.

* The Bakken formation spans North and South Dakota, Montana, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta.
** API gravity is a measure of how heavy or light a grade of crude oil is compared to water.

About Platts: Founded in 1909, Platts is a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture information and a premier source of benchmark prices for the physical and futures markets.  Platts' news, pricing, analytics, commentary and conferences help customers make better-informed trading and business decisions and help the markets operate with greater transparency and efficiency.  Customers in more than 150 countries benefit from Platts' coverage of the biofuels, carbon emissions, coal, electricity, oil, natural gas, metals, nuclear power, petrochemical, shipping and sugar markets.  A division of McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI), Platts is based in London with more than 1000 employees in more than 15 offices worldwide. Additional information is available at http://www.platts.com.   About McGraw Hill Financial: McGraw Hill Financial  (NYSE: MHFI) is a leading financial intelligence company providing the global capital and commodity markets with independent benchmarks, credit ratings, portfolio and enterprise risk solutions, and analytics. The Company's iconic brands include: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL and J.D. Power. The Company has approximately 17,000 employees in 30 countries. Additional information is available at www.mhfi.com.   Media Contacts: Global, U.S., EMEA:  Kathleen Tanzy, Kathleen.tanzy@platts.com, +1 212-904-2860

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