Oil production from key shale formations in North Dakota and Texas increased by 17,000 barrels per day (b/d), or 1%, in March versus February, according to Bentek Energy, an analytics and forecasting unit of Platts, a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture information.

In South Texas, Eagle Ford basin crude oil production averaged 1.6 million barrels in March, up 344,000 incremental barrels per day (b/d) or 28% from March 2014, according to Sami Yahya, Bentek energy analyst. Additionally, crude oil production in the North Dakota section of the Bakken shale formation of the Williston Basin averaged 1.2 million b/d in March, Bentek data showed. This was 215,000 b/d higher than the year ago level.

“Producers in both the Eagle Ford and Bakken basins are still maintaining their production levels by high-grading their acreage and pushing for better efficiencies,” explained Yahya. “The current average economic return for the two basins is 17%. However, the downside risk is that some producers may elect to increase their number of drilled-but-uncompleted wells in the near term—until they figure out their cash flow status—which will further flatten or bring down production levels.”

Bentek analysis shows that from March 2014 to March 2015, total U.S. crude oil production has increased by 1.3 million b/d.

“Prices of both Eagle Ford and Bakken shale oil have been on an upward trajectory since mid-March and reached a year high in early April,” said Jacqueline Puig, Platts associate editor of Americas crude.

Source: Your Oil & Gas News