What happens to US Lower 48 oil supply in 2018-2019?

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The US L48 saw a surge in rig count in late 2017, but, despite continued rig additions in recent weeks, we expect average rig count growth in 2018 and 2019 to slow while operators focus more on production. Crude oil supply, on an annual average basis, is forecast to grow 1.1 million b/d in 2018 and 0.9 million b/d in 2019. The production growth – of which over 80% comes from the Permian by end-2018 – reflects a natural flow of activity after the rig rush of late 2017, increased hedges for 2018 and 2019, and an overall reaction to recent investor pressure to generate positive cash flow returns. To reach these high levels of production growth, total completions will increase by 30% compared to 2017 levels as operators prioritize new well completions and uncompleted well (DUC) drawdowns. Primary risks to the forecast include well productivity in the Permian, pace of production growth from new drilling and uncompleted wells, and timing of price expectations.

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Research Director Jonathan Garrett illustrates the opportunities and risks associated with US Lower 48 drilling technology.

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