Shale Ingenuity LLC

Major US Shale Oil Basin Well Status

Shale oil production from horizontal wells began around 2003, and initially predominantly in the Williston Basin of North Dakota.Since then, it has grown rapidly and expanded to several basins across the US.

Today, in the five major shale oil basins of the US - The Williston, Permian, Eagle Ford, Denver-Julesberg, and Powder River -  there have been about 87,900 horizontal shale oil wells drilled.

Average life of these horizontal shale oil wells, from completion to economic limit production level, varies from about 9 years to 18 years. 

As of October, 2020, in these 5 basins, there were 74,710 producing wells, 4770 DUC wells, 6901 inactive wells and 991 plugged and abandoned wells.

The number of inactive and P&A wells is growing every year. These are wells that could be utilized for shale oil EOR, to recover up to 300% more oil.  

Eagle Ford Shale

As of October 2020, per ShaleProfile statistics, there are 25,934 horizontal Eagle Ford shale wells, of which 23,376 are producing, 684 are DUC's, 36 are drilling and completing, 1639 are inactive and 199 are plugged and abandoned. First horizontal shale oil production began in 2008. Cumulative oil production by year of first production average ranges from 50 to 160,000 barrels. 

The Eagle Ford produces dry gas in the deepest southern margin, undersaturated oil in the middle portion and lower gravity, low GOR oil in the shallow northern margin. Most shale oil development has focused on the volatile oil middle portion of the play. 

Average shale oil well life under primary depletion is estimated at 12 to 14 years. 

Permian Basin

In the Permian Basin as of October 2020 there were 31,375 horizontal shale oil wells, including 26,960 producing wells, 2233 DUCs, 190 in completion, 1617 inactive, and 344 plugged and abandoned, per ShaleProfile data.

There are two sub-basins within the Permian, the Midland Basin and the Delaware Basin. Today, there are about 190 rigs drilling wells in the Permian Basin. 

Nearly all of the productive shale oil producing horizons in the Permian Basin are undersaturated or volatile oil reservoirs having light API gravity crude and substantial amounts of associated gas.

Cumulative oil production by year of first production average ranges from 100 to 258,000 barrels of oil.

Average shale oil well life under primary depletion is estimated at 12 to 16 years.

Williston Basin

From ShaleProfile, as of November, 2020, there were 18,389 total horizontal shale oil wells, including 15,029 producing wells, 674 DUC's, 29 in completion, 2378 inactive and 258 wells plugged and abandoned.

Cumulative oil production by year of first production average ranges from 200 to 388,000 barrels of oil.

Average shale oil well life under primary is estimated at 14 to 18 years. 

DJ Basin

As of October 2020, per ShaleProfile data, there were 10,249 horizontal shale oil wells in the DJ Basin, including 8,077 producing wells, 984 DUC's, 40 wells in completion, 928 inactive wells, and 158 plugged and abandoned wells. 

Cumulative oil production by year of first production average ranges from 64 to 116,000 barrels of oil.

Average shale oil well life under primary depletion is estimated at 9 to 11 years.

The Niobrara and Codell formations are the target for nearly all of the shale oil development in the DJ Basin. Both are volatile oil reservoirs that produce light API gravity crude oil and rich associated gas. 

The play is considered to be maturing, and its development has been slowed by new state regulations and populated area expansion into the greater Wattenberg Field area. 

Powder River Basin

In the Powder River Basin, as of October 2020 per ShaleProfile data, there were 1,965 horizontal shale oil wells, including 1,516 producing wells, 164 DUC's, 9 in completion, 242 inactive wells and 32 plugged and abandoned wells.

Cumulative oil production by year of first production average ranges from 61 to 164,000 barrels of oil.

Estimated average shale oil well life is 12 to 14 years. 

There are multiple shale oil producing horizons in the Powder River Basin and the play is considered in early stage development.

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