U.S. uncompleted well backlog hangs over oil market: Kemp

LONDON (Reuters) by John Kemp – U.S. oil and gas exploration and production companies are drilling new wells faster than they can be fractured and hooked up to gathering systems, creating a growing backlog of drilled but uncompleted oil and gas wells. By June, the number of drilled but uncompleted oil and gas wells across the seven largest shale plays had topped 6,000, according to estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The estimated number of uncompleted wells across the seven plays has risen by more 1,000 since December 2016, the agency reported on Monday (“Drilling productivity report”, EIA, July 2017). The problem is concentrated in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico, where the number of uncompleted wells has risen by more than 800 since December and more than 1,000 since June 2016. In most other shale plays, the estimated number of drilled but uncompleted wells has been broadly stable over the last year (tmsnrt.rs/2tBi32e). There are now almost 2,250 uncompleted wells in the Permian, up from an estimated 1,200 a year ago, and compared with 3,800 across all the other plays combined. Since the Permian has accounted for more than 40 percent of the extra drilling rigs

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