Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Release the Fracklog: $65 Oil Frees Up 500,000 Barrels/Day

That's an old headline, May of 2015. At the time our self effacing introduction was:
Although we continue to look for another trip below $50 we're starting to look a little silly calling for it publicly.
NYMEX June WTI $62.35 +$1.95....
As it turned out we were indeed again going below $50 and even after that bottom-and-recovery WTI revisited $40 a couple times:

The reason for this stroll down Memory Lane was a quick note in Million Dollar Way's Nov. 28 post on what's cookin' in the Bakken:
Wells For The Past Week Have Been Reported; Whiting With A Huge Well -- November 28, 2017
  • over seven days, seventeen (17) wells came off confidential list
  • all but four (4) were DUCs 
According to the trusty slide-rule that's 3/4 of the new producers having formerly been classified as Drilled but UnCompleted.

Meaning it is now profitable - even at the Bakken's steep discount to WTI, 20% or so over the years - to pump 10 million pounds of frac sand into the holes and connect 'em up to the system.

This train of thought prompted a quick trip to the EIA to see what the inventory was:

Drilling Productivity Report
Release Date:  November 13, 2017  |  Next Release: December 18, 2017  |

Drilled but uncompleted wells (DUC)
Region September 2017 October 2017 change
Anadarko 914 921 7
Appalachia 786 791 5
Bakken 746 735 (11)
Eagle Ford 1,452 1,485 33
Haynesville 191 192 1
Niobrara 685 685 -   
Permian 2,430 2,533 103   
Total 7,204 7,342 138
The DPR report no longer contains the Marcellus and Utica regions in the downloadable report data file. These have been replaced by the Appalachia region.

Now all of these DUC's aren't uncompleted for oil=price economic reasons, sometime the crews can drill faster than the the wells can be completed but still...

It appears there are quite a few of these punctures into the earth's crust in just a few small areas of the small area called the United States:
We'll be back with more next month but in the meantime the Dakota Access Pipeline is going ahead which means, somewhere down the (rail) road Mr. Buffet's BNSF won't have all his DUC's in a row.
Burlington Northern tank cars coming out of the Bakken:


That's the Bakken Oil Express. It's only the fourth largest such loading facility in North Dakota.
Make sure you don't count the same car twice. Seven hundred barrels per.

I may be quackin' up, somebody please make the puns stop.