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Page added on July 7, 2019

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World Oil Production As Of March 2019

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New tight oil estimates were recently released by the EIA. The chart below compares estimates from Dec 2018 to May 2019, where the Dec 2018 estimate is that estimate with the most recent month estimated being Dec 2018 and likewise the May 2019 estimate has May 2019 as the most recent month estimated. The May 2019 estimate is fairly close to the April 2019 estimate with a slight downward revision of the April 2019 estimate from 7399 kb/d to 7368 kb/d, March 2019 was also revised lower by 10 kb/d from 7292 kb/d to 7282 kb/d. For May 2019 the most recent estimate is 7462 kb/d and if past history repeats this estimate may be revised lower next month.

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Due to the repeated revisions both higher and lower, (from July 2018 to Dec 2018 the data has been revised higher several times, while data from Feb 2019 to April 2019 has been revised lower) I use the average of the March through May 2019 estimates to guide a projection of future output. The most recent data point from May 2019 is dropped and a trendline is fit to the most recent 8 data points from this three data set average (April 2019 is the average of two estimates from April 2019 and May 2019). The chart below presents this trend line.

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The oldest data point is Sept 2018 and the slope of the trend line is 612 kb/d for the annual rate of increase in tight oil output. The trend line passes through the March 2019 data point (7331 kb/d) and assuming the trend continues, the output in Dec 2018 would be 7790 kb/d, an increase of about 500 kb/d from Dec 2018 (7280 kb/d).

An alternative projection can be based on the EIA’s Drilling Productivity Report, by fitting a trend line to the most recent 8 months of the DPR estimate (in this case Dec 2018 to July 2019). Note that the DPR estimate is higher than the tight oil estimates by about 900 kb/d because conventional output from the various tight oil regions is included in the estimate.

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By coincidence the DPR estimate also has a slope of about 600 kb/d for the annual rate of increase in output. The trend line passes very close to the May 2019 DPR estimate of 8366 kb/d, if we assume the trend is followed from May 2019 to Dec 2019 we arrive at a projected output of 8720 kb/d in Dec 2019 about 455 kb/d higher than Dec 2018 output (8265 kb/d).

If we take the average of these two projections we have a 475 kb/d increase in US tight oil output from Dec 2018 to Dec 2019, with perhaps a 200 kb/d window of uncertainty, resulting in a projected 375-575 kb/d tight oil increase from Dec 2018 to Dec 2019 or 7655 to 7855 kb/d of US tight oil output in Dec 2019.

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