U.S. shale back to booming, adding 1 million barrels a day

David Wethe February 04, 2022

(Bloomberg) — Output in the U.S. shale patch is “re-booming” this year, with research and data analysis firm Lium LLC forecasting production will surge by more than 1 million barrels a day.

That’s the most bullish industry forecast yet. By comparison, the Energy Information Administration says the U.S. will end the year producing about 630,000 barrels a day more than January levels; ConocoPhillips predicts output will grow by as much as 900,000 barrels a day in 2022.

The addition of more than 1 million barrels a day would represent the region’s largest expansion of output since 2018, according to Lium.

“Field level datapoints in recent weeks have highlighted a surge in frac activity, which we believe will translate into a production inflection by mid-year,” the firm wrote in a late Thursday research note. “The industry is finding (and we think will continue to find) a way to put plenty of service activity into the field.”

Private operators, which represent more than a third of U.S. output, are expected to “re-boom” over the next six months as they get ready to complete wells, while the major oil companies -- accounting for another 18% of production -- have already started growing production, Lium said.

Exxon Mobil Corp. said Tuesday it plans to boost output by 25% this year in the Permian Basin, the biggest U.S. oil-producing region. That comes four days after Chevron Corp. announced it will ramp up its own Permian supplies by 10% from an even larger production base. 

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