EIA: Tight oil production pushes US supply to more than 10% of world’s total

US tight oil production averaged 3.22 million b/d in the fourth quarter of 2013, pushing overall US crude oil production to more than 10% of the world’s total production, up from 9% in fourth-quarter 2012, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

“The US and Canada are the only major producers of tight oil in the world. In recent years, North American producers have developed technologically advanced drilling and completion processes to produce oil from tight formations,” EIA said. Tight oil production in the US represents 91% of all North American tight oil production, with the remainder coming from Canada.

In February, 63% of US tight oil production came from two basins: the Eagle Ford in South Texas and the Bakken shale in North Dakota and Montana, with production averaging 1.21 million b/d and 0.94 million b/d, respectively, according to EIA.

In Canada, total tight oil production averaged 0.34 million b/d in 2013, close to 10% of total Canadian crude oil production, concentrated entirely in the country’s western provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.

Russia was the only country outside North America that has produced commercial quantities of crude oil from tight formation. The 0.12 million b/d of tight oil produced in Russia in 2013, mainly in the West Siberia basin, accounted for 1% of its total oil production.

“With industry conditions resembling those of North America, Australia, and the UK have the potential to be among the next countries with commercially viable tight oil production,” EIA said.

The agency added, “Outside these two countries, there are many examples of energy companies drilling exploratory wells and committing to large investment plans to develop tight oil formations. Many of these formations are located within basins that already produce conventional crude oil in Mexico, Russia, China, and Argentina.”

The Argentine national oil company YPF claimed in their third-quarter 2013 report the production of more than 10,000 boe/d from Vaca Muerta in the Neuquin basin, of which 7,887 b/d was crude oil.

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