Monday, March 4, 2013
I noted in October that the US oil rig count (which has been powering the resurgence in US oil production by exploiting oil in very tight rocks) had stopped increasing. Then in January, it seemed to actually be declining. Above is the latest, in which the small decline seems to have stopped, and there's a very slight notch up.
I was prompted to have a look at this again today by this comment by Brian Sahadak. I don't have any insight on whether the rig count is likely to grow or shrink in the future, but it does appear to me that, given the very high initial decline rates of tight-oil wells, US oil production will not be able to grow for long unless the rig count resumes increasing - months maybe, but not years.
Here's the latest US production stats (through December, and from the EIA):
Still increasing at this time.