The Energy Information Administration reported that August crude oil production averaged 12.365 million barrels per day (mmbd), up 599,000 b/d from July. The gain was primarily due to the fact that July production had dropped due to Tropical Storm Barry, which shut-in 9.2 million barrels, or 297,000 b/d for the month, based on real-time estimates. In addition, July production was revised downward by 40,000 b/d. Nevertheless, the net increase of around 250,000 b/d from the adjusted July figure was a large increase and confirms the EIA’s weekly estimates for the month.
Production in the Gulf of Mexico reached a new high at 2.006 mmbd. The previous record was 1.979 mmbd in April. Texas production also reached a new high of 5.121 mmbd, up 98,000 b/d from July. Other gains were 43,000 b/d in New Mexico, 28,000 b/d in North Dakota, 15,000 b/d in Louisiana and 12,000 b/d in Colorado. Alaska was down 66,000 b/d for seasonal reasons, and that production is likely to return.
Plains All American Pipeline LP’s (PAA) Cactus ll pipeline was expected to ship 300,000 b/d in August and to be at full capacity, 670,000 b/d, in September. EPIC Midstream’s crude oil pipeline began shipping 400,000 b/d. It is designed to ship 440,000 b/d from the Permian and another 150,000 b/d from the Eagle Ford.
Phillips 66 Partner’s Gray Oak pipeline is expected to ship an additional 900,000 b/d. It is scheduled to being shipments by year-end.
The effect of the pipeline additions will narrow the spread between Midland and the U.S. gulf prices, effectively lowering breakeven costs in the Permian.