"U.S. crude production will peak this month, according to revised forecasts published by the country's Energy Information Administration (EIA). Output will average 9.37 million barrels per day (bpd) in April and the same in May before falling to 9.33 million bpd in June and 9.04 million bpd by September, the EIA predicted in the April edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) [...] Baker Hughes reported there were 802 rigs drilling for oil last week, down exactly 50 percent since early October. It is unlikely a halving of the rig count can be completely offset by greater target selectivity and other efficiency improvements such as employing only the most powerful rigs, drilling longer laterals and reaching target depth faster. Drilling data points to a strong probability that production from new wells will soon start to fall - if it is not falling already. Given the rapid declines in output from wells drilled in 2013 and 2014, total output from new and legacy wells should start to fall soon [....] If the rig count has fallen by 50 percent, why is output still rising? The simple answer: there is a delay of six months or more between changes in the number of new wells being drilled and reported changes in production. It can take 20-30 days for a rig to drill a new well and then another 60 days or more for the well to be fractured and all the above-ground equipment put in place before the well flows its first oil [....] Rig counts are a leading indicator of future production trends, while production reports are a lagging indicator. Trying to predict future production based on current production reports is like attempting to drive by looking in the rear-view mirror [...] But by the time the production peak becomes visible, output will likely have been falling for several months."

Zum Artikel von John Kemp, erschienen auf Reuters (8. April 2015) »