During 2018, while the production was on the high note, the total number of wells producing crude oil and natural gas in the United States fell to 982,000 from 1,035,000 in 2014. The increase in production despite the decrease in wells reflects on the advancements in technology and drilling techniques. The United States Energy Information Administration updates S Oil and Natural Gas Wells by Production Rate report shows how daily production rates of individual wells by state contributed to an increase in the total crude oil and natural gas production in 2018.
Wells, mostly vertical wells, have decreased 10% from 9, 35,000 in 2014 to 8,42,000 in 2018. Horizontal wells are relatively less common but are growing. The 99,000 horizontal wells drilled in 2014 accounted for 10% of the total.
Even though horizontal wells are more expensive to drill than vertical wells, they contact more reservoir rocks and hence produce greater volumes. Only 1% of the vertical wells produced around 200 barrels per day of crude oil in 2018. As horizontal wells became more common, production growth continued as the number of wells fell.
Despite of the decrease in the number of wells, the Unites States’ oil production grew from 8.8 million barrels per day in 2014 to 10.8 million b/d in 2018.