Permian Producers Talk About Basin’s Growing Pains

HOUSTON—E&P companies in the Permian Basin are seeing production growth as they pursue long laterals and optimized completions, but they are also experiencing growing pains and keeping eyes on what could be the next challenge.

Dan Westcott, president of Legacy Reserves, described it as a game of Whack-A-Mole.

“One problem arises. You go and smash it, and another one comes up,” said Westcott, who was among a trio of speakers on a panel during RBN Energy’s recent PermiCon. “But you can’t grow an industry this quick without having constraints.”

While producers in the largest oil field in the U.S. are not seeing frac crew or equipment constraints like in past years, takeaway capacity constraints continue to affect some operators eagerly awaiting the completion of pipeline projects. Longer term most in the basin are paying attention to decline curves, given the nature of shale plays, as production grows.