Eagle Ford, Bakken Boosting U.S. Crude Output, EIA Says

More efficient drilling methods and more prolific wells are driving the recent U.S. oil and natural gas boom, the Energy Information Administration said in the first edition of its Drilling Productivity Report.

The Bakken and Eagle Ford shale formation increased U.S. crude production by almost 700,000 barrels a day over the past year, the EIA said. That accounted for 75 percent of the crude output growth across six regions the agency will track in the new report.

The EIA, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, plans to issue the reports on a monthly basis. They’ll measure rig activity and analyze production rates and well flows over time, the agency said in a press release.

“The metrics presented in the Drilling Productivity Report are intended to be more informative than traditional indicators of future oil and gas production,” EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski said in a statement. “The report provides a new approach that takes into account changes in the application of technologies that have led to rapid increases in U.S. oil and gas production.”

The report focuses on six plays -- the Permian, Eagle Ford and Haynesville in Texas, the Bakken in North Dakota, the Niobrara in Colorado and Wyoming and the Marcellus in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The regions combined to account for 90 percent of U.S. oil production growth and almost all the natural gas production growth in 2011 and 2012.

The Marcellus accounted for 75 percent of natural gas production growth in the six regions, the EIA said.

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