What Slowdown? Featured Image

What Slowdown?

Melinda Marks, CPA
August 25, 2018

Domestic production remains at high levels, despite the EIA’s prediction of a coming slowdown.

On the year, output through the first six months of 2018 outpaces that of the same period last year by nearly 15 percent, and June saw crude production at 320 million barrels—up more than 10 million barrels from the start of the year. All in all, we’d say that’s a pretty good trend going into the fourth quarter. So what’s going on in your neck of the woods? Keep reading to find out.


The Permian continues to be the prettiest girl in the room,  and a quick look at the numbers shows you why they've remained so despite slowdown. Production from January to August increased by more than 35 percent over the same period in 2017, and operators in the Permian will likely see strong performance through the end of the year. Indeed, West Texas is looking as good as it ever has, but that doesn’t mean operators don’t worry about the future. With production at near-record levels, many are concerned that midstream transport providers won’t be able to keep pace—and the numbers back them up. Pricing differentials between Permian and Cushing/Gulf Coast ($5-15 per bbl) are already showing that takeaway capacity is insufficient to meet the region’s current production.

Eagle Ford

Though it doesn’t attract headlines quite like it’s big brother out west, the Eagle Ford continues to be an attractive play for independent operators. About the Eagle Ford, Todd Abbot, Vice President of Resource Plays South for Marathon, recently said this: “[While other plays] are consuming free cash flow, [the Eagle Ford] is generating free cash flow.” And it’s not just Marathon that’s seeing success down south. Total oil production in the area increased 2 percent from July to August.


Things are looking up for the Haynesville, and operators are happy to see the area bouncing back after a few less-than-stellar years. So far in 2018, the area’s natural gas production numbers have increased every month, and the EIA believes this trend could continue through the end of the year as American producers pick up the slack for Mexico’s growing demand. This—combined with the Haynesville’s position as one of the primary suppliers of natural gas to the northeast—means things are only going to heat up as temperatures cool down. We’re hopeful on the Haynesville.


Despite being the victim of production slowdown, Barnett continues to put up respectable numbers in natural gas. While our forecast for the field is relatively flat over the near-term, established producers continue to reap the benefit of historic investments. Should prices rebound significantly, it’s not out of the question that the Barnett may experience a wave of refracks in the not *too* distant future.

With prices holding strong and inventories under control, smart operators are keeping an eye out for that next big opportunity. But anyone who’s spent time in the field knows that it takes a team to make a deal work. PetroLedger has served the oil and gas industry for nearly 30 years, and we understand the unique challenges facing independent operators. If you need help getting your books in order, preparing financials for investors, or closing on a transaction, give us a call to schedule a free consultation.

Melinda Marks, CPA
Vice President of Operations

Melinda joined the PetroLedger team in August 2019. She graduated from Baylor University and is a Certified Public Accountant. Melinda has more than 25 years of oil and gas accounting and management experience, as well as, outsourcing. She has been involved in transactional processing and reporting for public and private companies. She is passionate about providing outstanding timely and accurate client bookkeeping to support solid business decisions.


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