U.S. light tight oil’s base decline is almost half that seen pre-COVID, Rystad data show.

Before COVID, the base decline—defined as the difference between legacy production and the sum of legacy and new production in the previous month—was very high due to many new wells being drilled, which accelerated decline, Per Magnus Nysveen, head of analysis for Rystad Energy, said on a recent webinar.

“That contributed to base decline passing 600,000 barrels, but now we have seen some months with 300,000 barrels in base decline. Going forward, we think that … you need only half as many new wells as in the end of 2019 to keep the production level flat,” said Nysveen. “This is important to understand the potential of shale to grow.”

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