(Adds highest shale oil output since May, natgas data)
NEW YORK Feb 13 U.S. shale oil production for
March is expected to rise by the most in five months to its
highest rate since May last year, government data showed on
Monday, as energy companies boost drilling on the back of crude
prices that are hovering over $50 a barrel.
March oil production is forecast to rise by nearly 79,000
barrels per day to 4.87 million bpd, according to the U.S.
Energy Information Administration's drilling productivity
report. That would be the biggest monthly rise since October.
In the Permian shale play of West Texas and New Mexico,
output is forecast to rise by more than 70,000 bpd to 2.25
million bpd, in what would be the biggest monthly rise since
Meanwhile, Eagle Ford production in Texas is expected to
rise by 14,000 bpd to 1.08 million bpd, the first monthly
increase since December 2015, EIA data showed.
In North Dakota's Bakken field, production is forecast to
fall by nearly 18,000 bpd to 976,000 bpd, the fifth consecutive
U.S. natural gas production from the seven biggest shale
basins was projected to increase to a record high 49.1 billion
cubic feet per day in March, the EIA said.
That would be up over 0.5 bcfd from February and would be a
third monthly increase in a row.
EIA projected output would decline in only one region in
March, the Eagle Ford. Output there is expected to ease by 25
million cubic feet per day to almost 5.6 bcfd, its lowest level
since November 2013.
Output in the Marcellus formation in Pennsylvania and West
Virginia, meanwhile, is set to rise by almost 0.2 bcfd to a
record high 19.1 bcfd in March, a fifth consecutive increase.
EIA also said producers drilled 760 wells and completed 668
in the biggest shale basins in January, leaving total drilled
but uncompleted wells (DUCs) up 92 at 5,381, the most since
(Reporting by Catherine Ngai and Scott DiSavino; Editing by
Marguerita Choy and Leslie Adler)