According to the EIA, since 2007, the average first full month of oil production from new wells has generally increased. These growing initial production rates have helped tight oil production to increase despite slowdowns in drilling activity when oil prices fell.
The EIA report said that the average new well in 2017 produced more oil than wells drilled in previous years, a trend that has persisted for nearly ten consecutive years. More effective drilling techniques, including the increasing prevalence of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, have helped increase these initial production rates, the report concluded.
As U.S. rig counts continue to recover from decreases that occurred during 2015 and 2016, producers have increasingly targeted the Permian region, which spans parts of western Texas and eastern New Mexico. Total production and production per new well have increased in the Permian for 11 consecutive years, said the report.
Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported last Friday that the active number of drilling rigs in the United States increased to 1,021 in total, up 151 from 870 a year ago.