Tight oil production to top 6m barrels a day by 2026

Tight oil production in the US is forecast to rise to above six million barrels per day (b/d) in the next decade. That’s according to a new report from the US Energy […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Tight oil production in the US is forecast to rise to above six million barrels per day (b/d) in the next decade.

That’s according to a new report from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), which suggests it won’t be long until tight oil makes up most of total oil production in the country.

Tight oil is a light form of crude oil which is often found in areas of non-porous rock, such as shale.

US production has increased significantly since 2010, driven by technological improvements that have reduced drilling costs and improved efficiency in major shale fields such as Bakken, Eagle Ford and the Permian Basin.

Tight oil first surpassed 50% of total oil production in 2015 when output reached 4.9 million b/d. Tight oil production and overall US oil production are expected to increase through to 2030.

After this point, production is expected to plateau until 2040 as technological growth slows and the productivity of existing wells decreases.

Production from the Eagle Ford and Bakken – two of the largest tight oil regions in the country – is to decline after 2020 and 2030 respectively.

Another report suggests demand for coal and oil could peak as early as 2020.