Masters Of War

Come you masters of war You that build all the guns You that build the death planes You that build all the bombs You that hide behind walls You that hide behind desks I just want you to know I can see through your masks. You that never done nothin' But build to destroy You play with my world Like it's your little toy You put a gun in my hand And you hide from my eyes And you turn and run farther When the fast bullets fly. Like Judas of old You lie and deceive A world war can be won You want me to believe But I see through your eyes And I see through your brain Like I see through the water That runs down my drain. You fasten all the triggers For the others to fire Then you set back and watch When the death count gets higher You hide in your mansion' As young people's blood Flows out of their bodies And is buried in the mud. You've thrown the worst fear That can ever be hurled Fear to bring children Into the world For threatening my baby Unborn and unnamed You ain't worth the blood That runs in your veins. How much do I know To talk out of turn You might say that I'm young You might say I'm unlearned But there's one thing I know Though I'm younger than you That even Jesus would never Forgive what you do. Let me ask you one question Is your money that good Will it buy you forgiveness Do you think that it could I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul. And I hope that you die And your death'll come soon I will follow your casket In the pale afternoon And I'll watch while you're lowered Down to your deathbed And I'll stand over your grave 'Til I'm sure that you're dead.------- Bob Dylan 1963

Sunday, September 25, 2022

oil prices at a 8 month low; US oil supplies at a 19½ year low; distillates exports at a 51 month high; record low DUCs

oil prices at a 8 month low; US oil supplies at a 19½ year low; SPR at a 38 year low, distillates exports at a 51 month high; DUCs at a record low, completions at a three month low; DUC backlog is 4.4 months

oil prices fell for a fourth straight week and ended at an 8 month low as traders began to price in the effects of a monetary policy induced recession...after falling 1.9% to $85.11 a barrel last week as an elevated US inflation reading presaged this week's big interest rate hike, the contract price for the benchmark US light sweet crude for October delivery fell by more than 1.5% in Asian trading on Monday, pressured by expectations of weaker global demand and by U.S. dollar strength ahead of the expected large increase​s​ to interest rates, but reversed higher in afternoon trading in New York following industry surveys showing that OPEC and ​its ​10 allied partners missed their August production target, heightening concerns over tight ​global ​supplies​ to settle 62 cents higher at $85.73 a barrel, as traders weighed up the demand outlook amid easing Covid lockdown measures in China and the impact of slowing global growth...oil prices continued higher in overseas trading on the miss in OPEC+ production on Tuesday, but softened in New York ahead of monetary policy meetings by the Fed and the Bank of England that ​were expected to lead to aggressive rate hikes, and finished $1.28 lower at $84.45 a barrel as a strong U.S. dollar, rising yields and concerns over demand as the global economy slows weighed on crude prices, as trading in the October oil contract expired, and the more-active contract for November US light sweet crude fell $1.42 to $83.94 a barrel....after trading slightly lower overnight following an American Petroleum Institute (API) report of a modest build of crude oil inentories, oil prices jumped as much as 3.2% early on Wednesday after Russian President Putin announced a partial military mobilization, escalating the war in Ukraine and raising concerns ​about tighter oil and gas supply, but turned lower ahead of the noon hour in New York after EIA data reported U.S. crude and refined products inventories ​had ​increased sharply during the third week of September, while domestic demand remained a full 7% below last year's consumption rate, providing further evidence of demand destruction amid a broader economic slowdown, and then fell about 1% to a near two-week low of $82.94 a barrel in volatile trading after the Fed delivered another hefty rate hike that could reduce economic activity and demand for oil and as the U.S. dollar index surged to a 20 year high....however, oil prices bounced back in Asian markets on Thursday, as oil traders worried about tight supplies after Putin called up 300,000 reservists to fight in Ukraine and hinted that he was prepared to use nuclear weapons, and continued higher in New York as traders balanced concerns over short supplies this winter due to Putin's to cut oil exports to Europe, against sputtering demand fundamentals as central banks rush​ed​ to jack up interest rates to fight inflation, before paring the day's gains to settle 55 cents higher at $83.49 a barrel, hanging on for a slight gain after a slew of rate hikes around the world reaffirmed that central bankers would continue to fight inflation at the expense of economic growth...oil prices then tumbled 3% in overseas trading on Friday, as demand fears were stoked by rising interest rates and a stronger dollar​,​ and contined tumbling in US trading before settling $4.75, or 5.7% lower, at an eight month low of $78.74 a barrel, on fears that rising interest rates would tip major economies into recession, cutting demand for oil, and ​on ​a fresh twenty year high for the US dollar....oil prices thus finished down about 7.5% for the week, while the contract for November delivery, which had started the week at a 37​ cent​ discount to the expiring October contract, finished 7.1% lower...

At the same time, natural gas prices finished lower for a fifth consecutive week following the largest inventory increase of this year....after falling 2.9% to $7.764 per mmBTU last week on a bearish storage report and on the belief that a railroad strike had been averted, the contract price of US natural gas for October delivery continued lower in early trading on Monday, as analysts cited bearish technical momentum, and held near a six-week low through the session before settling 1.2 ce​n​ts lower at $7.753 per mmBTU on near record output and on forecasts for less demand over the next two weeks than had been expected....natural gas prices shed another 3.5 cents and settled at another six week low of $7.717 per mmBTU​ ​on Tuesday, despite a bout of near-term heat and a drop in production, on expectations ​that ​demand would decline when the Cove Point LNG plant in Maryland shuts for a couple weeks of maintenance in October...however, natural gas prices gained ground for the first time in five sessions on Wednesday as global supply doubts following Putin's threat ​to launch nuclear weapons overshadowed fading demand, and natural gas finished 6.2 cents higher at $7.779 per mmBTU...​but ​natural gas prices returned to the red on Thursday as a triple digit injection into storage exceeded expectations and eased concerns about winter supplies​, while prices finished 69.0 cents lower on the day in settling at a 10 week low of $7.089 per mmBTU...natural gas prices then followed oil prices lower on Friday and settled down 26.1 cents or 4% at $6.828 per mmBTU and thus finished 12.1% lower on the week, the biggest weekly percentage drop since June, and at another 10 week low...

The EIA's natural gas storage report for the week ending September 16th indicated that the amount of working natural gas held in underground storage in the US rose by 103 billion cubic feet to 2,874 billion cubic feet by the end of the week, which still left our gas supplies 197 billion cubic feet, or 6.4% below the 3,071 billion cubic feet that were in storage on September 16th of last year, and 332 billion cubic feet, or 11.3% below the five-year average of 3,125 billion cubic feet of natural gas that were in storage as of the 16th of September over the most recent five years....the 103 billion cubic foot injection into US natural gas working storage for the cited week was above all ​the ​estimates from Bloomberg survey of analysts, whose expectations called for an injection of between 80 and 99 billion cubic feet, and was quite a bit more than the 77 billion cubic feet that were added to natural gas storage during the corresponding week of 2021, and also more than the average injection of 81 billion cubic feet of natural gas that had typically been added to our natural gas storage during the same week over the past 5 years....   

The Latest US Oil Supply and Disposition Data from the EIA

US oil data from the US Energy Information Administration for the week ending September 16th showed that after a big jump in our oil imports and another large withdrawal of oil from our SPR, we were able to add oil to our stored commercial crude supplies for the 5th time time in 8 weeks, and for the 19th time in the past 43 weeks....Our imports of crude oil rose by an average of 1,155,000 barrels per day to average 6,947,000 barrels per day, after falling by an average of 988,000 barrels per day during the prior week, while our exports of crude oil rose by 25,000 barrels per day to average 3,540,000 barrels per day, which together meant that the net of our trade in oil worked out to an import average of 3,407,000 barrels of oil per day during the week ending September 16th, 1,130,000 more barrels per day than the net of our imports minus our exports during the prior week. Over the same period, production of crude from US wells was reportedly unchanged at 12,100,000 barrels per day, and hence our daily supply of oil from the net of our international trade in oil and from domestic well production appears to have average​d a total​ of 15,507,000 barrels per day during the September 16th reporting week…

Meanwhile, US oil refineries reported they were processing an average of 16,355,000 barrels of crude per day during the week ending September 16th, an average of 333,000 more barrels per day than the amount of oil than our refineries processed during the prior week, while over the same period the EIA’s surveys indicated that a net average of 822,000 barrels of oil per day were being pulled out of the supplies of oil stored in the US. So, based on that reported & estimated data, the crude oil figures from the EIA for the week ending September 16th appear to indicate that our total working supply of oil from net imports, from oilfield production, and from storage was 26,000 barrels per day less than what our oil refineries reported they used during the week. To account for that disparity between the apparent supply of oil and the apparent disposition of it, the EIA just inserted a (+26,000) barrel per day figure onto line 13 of the weekly U.S. Petroleum Balance Sheet in order to make the reported data for the daily supply of oil and for the consumption of it balance out, a fudge factor that they label in their footnotes as “unaccounted for crude oil”, thus suggesting there must have been an omission or​ minor​ error of that ​size in this week’s oil supply & demand figures that we have just transcribed... however, since last week’s EIA fudge factor was at (+792,000) barrels per day, that means there was a 766,000 barrel per day difference between this week's balance sheet error and the EIA's crude oil balance sheet error from a week ago, and hence the changes ​to supply and demand from that week to this ​one ​that are indicated by this week's report are off by that much, rendering them useless...but since most everyone treats these weekly EIA reports as gospel, and since these figures often drive oil pricing, and hence decisions to drill or complete oil wells, we’ll continue to report this data just as it's published, and just as it's watched & believed to be reasonably accurate by most everyone in the industry...(for more on how this weekly oil data is gathered, and the possible reasons for that “unaccounted for” oil, see this EIA explainer)….

This week's 822,000 barrel per day decrease in our overall crude oil inventories left our oil supplies at 857,932,000 barrels at the end of the week, which is our lowest total oil inventory level since March 21st, 2003, and therefore at a 19 1/2 year low.….Our oil inventories decreased this week as 163,000 barrels per day were being added to our commercially available stocks of crude oil while 986,000 barrels per day of oil were being pulled out of our Strategic Petroleum Reserve. That draw on the SPR was another installment of the emergency withdrawal under Biden's "Plan to Respond to Putin’s Price Hike at the Pump" (sic), that was intended to supply 1,000,000 barrels of oil per day to commercial interests over a six month period up to the midterm elections in November, in the hope of keeping gasoline and diesel fuel prices from rising, at least up until then, and was apparently up by 864,000 barrels per day from two weeks ago because the administration is now attempting to use the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to manipulate prices on a weekly basis....Including the administration's initial 50,000,000 million barrel SPR release earlier this year, their subsequent 30,000,000 barrel release, and other withdrawals from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve under recent release programs, a total of 228,989,000 barrels of oil have now been removed from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve over the past 26 months, and as a result the 427,158,000 barrels of oil still remaining in our Strategic Petroleum Reserve is now the lowest since August 10th, 1984, or at a 38 year low, as repeated tapping of our emergency supplies for non-emergencies or to pay for other programs had already drained those supplies considerably over the past dozen years, even before the Biden administration's SPR releases. Now the total 180,000,000 barrel drawdown of the current release program​, now scheduled to run​ through November​,​ will remove almost a third of what remained in the SPR when the program started, and leave us with what would be less than a 20 day supply of oil at today's consumption rate...

Further details from the weekly Petroleum Status Report (pdf) indicate that the 4 week average of our oil imports rose to an average of 6,368,000 barrels per day last week, which was 4.5% more than the 6,094,000 barrel per day average that we were importing over the same four-week period last year. This week’s crude oil production was reported to be unchanged at 12,100,000 barrels per day because the EIA's rounded estimate of the output from wells in the lower 48 states was unchanged at 11,700,000 barrels per day, while Alaska’s oil production was 4,000 barrels per day lower at 430,000 barrels per day but had no impact on the final rounded national total. US crude oil production had reached a pre-pandemic high of 13,100,000 barrels per day during the week ending March 13th 2020, so this week’s reported oil production figure was 7.6% below that of our pre-pandemic production peak, but was 24.7% above the pandemic low of 9,700,000 barrels per day that US oil production had fallen to during the third week of February of 2021...

US oil refineries were operating at 93.6% of their capacity while using those 16,355,000 barrels of crude per day during the week ending September 9th, up from their 91.5% utilization rate during the prior week, and a refinery utilization rate that's a bit above the normal range for mid-September. The 16,355,000 barrels per day of oil that were refined this week were 6.6% more than the 15,347,000 barrels of crude that were being processed daily during week ending September 17th of 2021 (after Hurricane Ida), but 1.0% less than the 16,513,000 barrels that were being refined during the prepandemic week ending September 20th, 2019, when our refinery utilization was at 89.9%, on the low side of the normal range for mid September...

With the increase in the amount of oil being refined this week, the gasoline output from our refineries was a bit higher, increasing by 6,000 barrels per day to 9,459,000 barrels per day during the week ending September 9th, after our gasoline output had decreased by 399,000 barrels per day during the prior week. This week’s gasoline production was still 1.9% less than the 9,643,000 barrels of gasoline that were being produced daily over the same week of last year, and  7.6% below the gasoline production of 10,240,000 barrels per day during the week ending September 20th, 2019, ie, during the year before the pandemic impacted US gasoline output. At the same time, our refineries’ production of distillate fuels (diesel fuel and heat oil) increased by 217,000 barrels per day to 5,236,000 barrels per day, after our distillates output had increased by 12,000 barrels per day during the prior week. With that increase, our distillates output was 17.6% more than the hurricane impacted 4,454,000 barrels of distillates that were being produced daily during the week ending September 17th of 2021, and 4.7% more than the 5,000,000 barrels of distillates that were being produced daily during the week ending September 13th 2019...

With the increase in our gasoline production, our supplies of gasoline in storage at the end of the week ​rose for the 2nd time in 7 weeks; and for the 8th time out of the past thirty-three weeks, increasing by 1,570,000 barrels to 214,610,000 barrels during the week ending September 16th, after our gasoline inventories had decreased by 1,768,000 barrels during the prior week. Our gasoline supplies rose this week because the amount of gasoline supplied to US users fell by 172,000 barrels per day to 8,322,000 barrels per day, and because our imports of gasoline rose by 253,000 barrels per day to 775,000 barrels per day, while our exports of gasoline rose by 119,000 barrels per day to 1,189,000 barrels per day. But after 25 gasoline inventory drawdowns over the past 32 weeks, our gasoline supplies were still 3.2% lower than last September 17th's gasoline inventories of 221,616,000 barrels, and about 5% below the five year average of our gasoline supplies for this time of the year…

After the increase in our distillates production, our supplies of distillate fuels increased for the 12th time in 18 weeks and for the 22nd time in the past year, rising by 1,230,000 barrels to 116,020,000 barrels during the week ending September 16th, after our distillates supplies had increased by 4.219,000 barrels during the prior we​​ek. Our distillates supplies rose by less this week ​even with the ​production​ increase ​because the amount of distillates supplied to US markets, an indicator of our domestic demand, increased by 277,000 barrels per day to 3,409,000 barrels per day, and because our exports of distillates rose by 349,000 barrels per day to a fifty one month high of 1,758,000 barrels per day, while our imports of distillates fell by 18,000 barrels per day to 107,000 barrels per day.. But after forty-eight inventory withdrawals over the past seventy-four weeks, our distillate supplies at the end of the week were still 9.3% below the 129,343,000 barrels of distillates that we had in storage on September 17th of 2021, and about 18% below the five year average of distillates inventories for this time of the year...

Meanwhile, with the big jump in our oil imports and the big withdrawal of crude from the SPR, our commercial supplies of crude oil in storage rose for the 12th time in 22 weeks and for the 23rd time in the past year, increasing by 1,141,000 barrels over the week, from 429,633,000 barrels on September 9th to 430,774,000 barrels on September 16th, after our commercial crude supplies had increased by 2,442,000 barrels over the prior week. After those increases, our commercial crude oil inventories were still about 2% below the most recent five-year average of crude oil supplies for this time of year, but 30.6% above the average of our crude oil stocks as of the third weekend of September over the 5 years at the beginning of the past decade, with the disparity between those comparisons arising because it wasn’t until early 2015 that our oil inventories first topped 400 million barrels. And even though our commercial crude oil inventories had jumped to record highs during the Covid lockdowns of the Spring of 2020, and then jumped again after last year's winter storm Uri froze off US Gulf Coast refining, our commercial crude supplies as of this September 16th were 4.1% more than the 413,964,000 barrels of oil we had in commercial storage on September 17th of 2021, while 12.9% less than the 494,406,000 barrels of oil that we had in storage on September 18th of 2020, and 2.7% more than the 419,538,000 barrels of oil we had in commercial storage on September 20th of 2019…

Lastly, with our inventories of crude oil and our supplies of all products made from oil near multi-year lows over the most recent months, we are continuing to watch the total of all U.S. Stocks of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products, including those in the SPR. With the increases we've already noted, the EIA's data shows that the total of our oil and oil product inventories, including those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and those held by the oil industry, and thus including everything from gasoline and jet fuel to propane/propylene and residual fuel oil, rose by 2,344,000 barrels this week, from 1,664,676,000 barrels on September 9th to 1,667,020,000 barrels on September 16th, after our total inventories had fallen by 2,943,000 barrels during the prior week. That left our total liquids inventories down by 121,413,000 barrels over the first 34 weeks of this year, and only about 0.1% from a 13 1/2 year low...   

This Week's Rig Count

The number of drilling rigs running in the US rose for the third time in eight weeks, and for the 84th time over the past two years during the week ending September 23rd, but they're still 3.7% below the prepandemic rig count....Baker Hughes reported that the total count of rotary rigs drilling in the US increased by 1 to 764 rigs this past week, which was also 243 more rigs than the 521 rigs that were in use as of the September 24th report of 2021, but was 1,165 fewer rigs than the shale era high of 1,929 drilling rigs that were deployed on November 21st of 2014, a week before OPEC began to flood the global market with oil in an attempt to put US shale out of business….

The number of rigs drilling for oil increased by 3 to 602 oil rigs during the past week, after the number of rigs targeting oil had increased by 8 during the prior week, and there are now 181 more oil rigs active now than were running a year ago, even as they amount to just 37.4% of the shale era high of 1609 rigs that were drilling for oil on October 10th, 2014, and as they are still down 11.9% from the prepandemic oil rig count….at the same time, the number of drilling rigs targeting natural gas bearing formations decreased by 2 to 160 natural gas rigs, which was still up by 61 natural gas rigs from the 99 natural gas rigs that were drilling during the same week a year ago, even as they were less than 10% of the modern high of 1,606 rigs targeting natural gas that were deployed on September 7th, 2008….other than those rigs targeting oil and natural gas, Baker Hughes reports that two "miscellaneous" rigs continued drilling this week: a directional rig drilling to between 5,000 and 10,000 feet on the big island of Hawaii, and a vertical rig drilling more than 15,000 feet into a formation in Humboldt county Nevada that Baker Hughes doesn't track....in the past, we've identified vari​ous​ "miscellaneous" as being exploratory, for carbon dioxide storage, and for utility scale geothermal projects...a year ago, there were was only one such "miscellaneous" rig running...

The offshore rig count in the Gulf of Mexico was up by one to 15 rigs this week, with all of this week's Gulf rigs drilling for oil in Louisiana's offshore waters....that's in contrast to a year ago, when only 8 Gulf oil rigs had restarted in the wake of Hurricane Ida...in addition to rigs drilling in the Gulf, we still have an offshore directional rigs drilling to between 5,000 and 10,000 feet for natural gas in the Cook Inlet of Alaska, while a year ago, there were two rigs drilling offshore from Alaska...

In addition to rigs running offshore, there are also four water based rigs drilling through inland bodies of water this week; those include a directional rig drilling to between 10,000 and 15,000 feet, inland in Galveston Bay​, ​Texas, a directional rig drilling for oil to between 5,000 and 10,000 feet in Cameron Parish, Louisiana; a directional rig targeting oil at a depth greater than 15,000 feet drilling through a lake on Grand Isle, Louisiana, and a directional rig drilling for oil in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, also at a depth greater than 15,000 feet...a year ago, there were two rigs drilling on inland waters...

The count of active horizontal drilling rigs was down by 2 to 693 horizontal rigs this week, which was still 222 more rigs than the 471 horizontal rigs that were in use in the US on September 24th of last year, but just over half of the record 1,374 horizontal rigs that were drilling on November 21st of 2014....on the other hand, the directional rig count was up by 1 to 46 directional rigs this week, and those were up by 26 from the 20 directional rigs that were operating during the same week a year ago…at the same time, the vertical rig count was up by 2 to 25 vertical rigs this week, which was still down by 5 from the 30 vertical rigs that were in use on September 24th of 2021….

The details on this week’s changes in drilling activity by state and by major shale basin are shown in our screenshot below of that part of the rig count summary pdf from Baker Hughes that gives us those changes…the first table below shows weekly and year over year rig count changes for the major oil & gas producing states, and the table below that shows the weekly and year over year rig count changes for the major US geological oil and gas basins…in both tables, the first column shows the active rig count as of September 23rd, the second column shows the change in the number of working rigs between last week’s count (September 16th) and this week’s (September 23rd) count, the third column shows last week’s September 16th active rig count, the 4th column shows the change between the number of rigs running on Friday and the number running on the Friday before the same weekend of a year ago, and the 5th column shows the number of rigs that were drilling at the end of that reporting week a year ago, which in this week’s case was the 24th of September, 2021...

obviously, the biggest increase was in New Mexico, but to figure out what happened there, we have to first check the Rigs by State file at Baker Hughes for the changes in Texas Permian...there we find that there were three oil rigs removed from Texas Oil District 8, which covers the core Permian Delaware, but that there was an oil rig added in Texas Oil District 8A, which covers the northernmost counties of the Permian Midland...hence, those changes indicate a 2 rig decrease in the Texas Permian, and since the national Permian basin count was up by 1 rig, we can conclude that all the rigs added in New Mexico were set up to drill in the far west Permian Delaware....meanwhile, the ​overall ​Permian basin shows a decrease of one natural gas rig, leaving five, and an increase of two oil rigs, now totalling 339....furthermore, since there were no other changes elsewhere in Texas, the Permian rig drop accounts for this week’s decrease in that state.

in other states, the North Dakota rig count was down by one with the removal of an oil rig from the Williston basin, the Louisiana rig count was up by one with the rig addition in the adjacent Gulf of Mexico, and the Oklahoma count was up by one with the addition of two oil rigs in the Cana Woodford, the addition of an oil rig in the Arkoma Woodford, the addition of an oil rig in Mississippian shale, the removal of an oil rig from the Ardmore Woodford, the removal of an oil rig from the Granite Wash, and the removal of a rig from a basin elsewhere in Oklahoma that Baker Hughes doesn't track at the same time...note that the Mississippian rig count remained unchanged with the removal of an oil rig from that basin in Kansas...

for natural gas rig changes other than the gas rig removal from the Permian in Texas Oil District 8, it appear that two natural gas rigs were added in Pennsylvania's Marcellus, while a natural gas rig was pulled out of West Virginia's Marcellus, and another natural gas rig was removed from the Utica​ shale​ in Pennsylvania, thus leaving the Appalachian ​rig ​count unchanged....the natural gas rig count was still down by two, however, due to a gas rig removal from a basin not tracked by Baker Hughes, which could have been the one pulled out from Oklahoma...

DUC well report for August

Monday of last week saw the release of the EIA's Drilling Productivity Report for September, which included the EIA's August data on drilled but uncompleted (DUC) oil and gas wells in the 7 most productive shale regions (shown under the report's tab 3)....that data showed a decrease in uncompleted wells nationally for the 26th consecutive month, as completions of drilled wells decreased while drilling of new wells increased in August, but remained well below average pre-pandemic levels...for the 7 sedimentary regions covered by this report, the total count of DUC wells decreased by 16 wells, falling from a revised 4,299 DUC wells in July to 4,28​3 DUC wells in August, which was the lowest number of US wells left uncompleted on record, and also 26.3% fewer DUCs than the 5,812 wells that had been drilled but remained uncompleted as of the end of August of a year ago...this month's DUC decrease occurred as 953 wells were drilled in the 7 regions that this report covers (representing 87% of all U.S. onshore drilling operations) during July, up from the revised 947 wells that were drilled in July, while 969 wells were completed and brought into production by fracking them, down by 3 from the 972 well completions seen in July, but up by 245 from the 716 completions seen in August of last year....at the August completion rate, the 4,277 drilled but uncompleted wells remaining at the end of the month represents a 4.4 month backlog of wells that have been drilled but are not yet fracked, ​virtuallly ​unchanged from the DUC well backlog of a month ago, which ​wa​s the lowest DUC backlog since March 2015, despite a completion rate that is nearly 15% below 2019's pre-pandemic average...

only the oil producing regions saw a net DUC well decrease during August, since the DUC well decrease in natural gas producing Appalachian basins was offset by the DUC well increase in Haynesville shale....the number of uncompleted wells remaining in the Permian basin of west Texas and New Mexico decreased by 19, from 1,180 DUC wells at the end of July to 1,161 DUCs at the end of August, as 416 new wells were drilled into the Permian basin during August, while 435 already drilled wells in the region were being fracked....in addition, the number of uncompleted wells remaining in Oklahoma's Anadarko basin decreased by 7, falling from 716 at the end of July to 709 DUC wells at the end of August, as 65 wells were drilled into the Anadarko basin during August, while 72 Anadarko wells were completed....meanwhile, there was a decrease of 1 DUC well in the Bakken of North Dakota, where ​the number of ​DUC wells fell from 426 at the end of July to a record low of 425 DUCs at the end of August, as 76 wells were drilled into the Bakken during August, while 77 of the drilled wells in the Bakken were being fracked....on the other hand, DUCs in the Eagle Ford shale of south Texas increased by 2, from 620 DUC wells at the end of July to 622 DUCs at the end of August, as 115 wells were drilled in the Eagle Ford during August, while 113 already drilled Eagle Ford wells were fracked....at the same time, DUC wells in the Niobrara chalk of the Rockies' front range increased by 9, rising from 345  at the end of July to 354 DUC wells at the end of August, as 119 wells were drilled into the Niobrara chalk during August, while 110 Niobrara wells were completed....

among the natural gas producing regions, the drilled but uncompleted well count in the Appalachian region, which includes the Utica shale, fell by 8 wells, from 529 DUCs at the end of June to 521 DUCs at the end of August, as 89 new wells were drilled into the Marcellus and Utica shales during the month, while 97 of the already drilled wells in the region were fracked....on the other hand, the uncompleted well inventory in the natural gas producing Haynesville shale of the northern Louisiana-Texas border region rose by 8, from 483 DUCs in June to 491 DUCs by the end of August, as 75 wells were drilled into the Haynesville during July, while 65 of the already drilled Haynesville wells were fracked during the same period....thus, for the month of August, DUCs in the five major oil-producing basins tracked by this report (ie., the Anadarko, Bakken, Niobrara, Permian, and Eagle Ford) decreased by a net total of 16 wells to 3,271 DUC wells, while the uncompleted well count in the major natural gas basins (the Marcellus, the Utica, and the Haynesville) was unchanged at 1,012 wells, although as this report notes, once into production, more than half the wells drilled nationally will produce both oil and gas...

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