US stripper oil wells, production decline in 2001

Both the number of marginal oil wells and production from these wells declined in 2001, based on figures released by the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC).

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Oct. 18 -- Both the number of marginal oil wells and production from these wells declined in 2001, based on figures released by the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC). Last year, IOGCC said, the number of marginal wells was down 8,170 to 403,459 compared with 2000. Production, meanwhile, declined to 316,099,000 bbl in 2001, down 9,848,000 bbl from the previous year.

"The decrease comes after a year of increased numbers and production in 2000," IOGCC said. "As demand for oil and natural gas continues to rise, and reliance on imported oil continues to be a troubling reality, production from marginal wells must be encouraged," said Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, IOGCC chairman. "For the good of our nation, we must create a legislative and regulatory environment conducive to marginal well production," he added.

The plight of marginal wells is a serious one, IOGCC members contend. Although production from each well averaged only 2.15 b/d in 2001, collectively, they make up 29% of domestic production, IOGCC explained. "No other nation produces as much oil from such as source," it said.

Marginal natural gas wells, meanwhile, showed an increase in production for the sixth consecutive year, IOGCC reported. Production reached 1.35 tcf in 2001 from 234,507 marginal gas wells. "The number of stripper natural gas wells also has steadily increased during the past 5 years," IOGCC said, adding, "However, after a 1-year decline, the total number of plugged wells increased again in 2001 with 3,591 natural gas wells plugged."

IOGCC reported that 2001 production from marginal oil and gas wells had a market value of $12.7 billion.

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