As if the Permian Basin wasn’t already doing well, HIS Markit, a global information provider, says it will go up 3 million barrels a day come 2023, characterized as “stunning” growth. That means the Permian will account for 60 percent of worldwide gain.
“Add an additional 3 mbd by 2023—more than the total present-day production of Kuwait—and you have a level of production that exceeds the current production of every OPEC nation except for Saudi Arabia,” according to the HIS analysis.
Total oil production in the Permian will be 5.4 mbd in 2023. That puts the basin above the production of any OPEC country other than Saudi Arabia. Nearly 41,000 new wells and $308 billion in upstream spending between 2018 and 2023 is behind this growth.
On top of this, natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) production in the basin are predicted to double during this period, reaching 15 bcf/d and 1.7 mbd, respectively.
“In the past 24 months, production from just this one region—the Permian—has grown far more than any other entire country in the world,” said Daniel Yergin, IHS Markit’s vice chairman. “Add an additional 3 mbd by 2023—more than the total present-day production of Kuwait—and you have a level of production that exceeds the current production of every OPEC nation except for Saudi Arabia.”
The new IHS Markit Permian outlook uses data from the company’s Performance Evaluator. It has in-depth information from some one million wells globally.
Raising capital will not be a big challenge in the Permian, despite the $308 billion needed, which far surpasses the $150 billion laid out between 2012 and 2017. IHS sees wells operating with positive cash flow. These projections hold up if oil stays at least $60 per barrel.
“The infrastructure challenges in the Permian illustrate a fundamental mismatch between upstream oil producers and midstream players,” said Jim Burkhard, vice president and head of crude-oil markets at IHS Markit. “The former are focused on fast growth while the latter require sustained high utilization of infrastructure over decades for projects to be viable.”
The IHS Markit outlook takes into account the possibility of logistical bottlenecks that might defer some wells to the latter half of 2019. It is not expected that such hiccups will impede the Permian’s strong production growth.
“Far from a ‘best case’ forecast, the IHS Markit outlook applies realistic scenarios and anticipates likely bottlenecks,” said Raoul LeBlanc, executive director and head of the IHS Markit Performance Evaluator. “That the outlook still expects the Permian to exceed existing (and already lofty) expectations speaks to the region’s unique and growing prominence to the world oil market. The level of growth—from 0.92 mbd in 2010 to 5.4 mbd in 2023—is truly stunning.”