North Dakota’s Bakken shale “holding back” U.S. oil production

Sheela Tobben, Bloomberg February 08, 2023

(Bloomberg) – North Dakota’s Bakken shale — traditionally one of America's larger, busier shales — is showing signs of maturation, threatening to hold back U.S. oil production as the world thirsts for more crude.

Mature wells that are producing more gas than expected are hurting crude output from the Bakken, the Energy Information Administration said in an email on 2/7. The deteriorating performance was the main reason the agency cut its estimate for 2024 U.S. oil output to 12.65 MMbpd from an earlier projection of 12.8 million.

The weakening oil production outlook comes as Russia’s war in Ukraine, which has disrupted global supplies, grinds toward its first anniversary. At the same time, the International Energy Agency is forecasting higher global oil consumption as China shows signs of a stronger-than-expected economic recovery.

Even at the lowered estimate for next year, U.S. output would still set a record, surpassing the 12.3 MMbpd produced in 2019.

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