DUC, Abnormal DUC Counts Rise In Permian

The Permian Basin’s inventory of drilled but uncompleted (DUC) wells continues to swell amid increased drilling activity as operators work their way through cycle times.

But infrastructure bottlenecks in one of the world’s most active basins are playing a role in the rising number of “abnormal” DUCs, or wells that remain uncompleted longer than the typical four to seven months it usually takes an operator to complete a well, according to Artem Abramov, vice president of shale analysis for Rystad Energy. The timeframe depends on the operator’s strategy and maturity of development, he added.

The growing counts come as some E&Ps gear up to increase spending and activity, eyeing improved market conditions. More efficient drilling rigs, pad drilling and fine-tuned completion recipes among other techniques and technology have sent production from the biggest U.S. shale play soaring.

Takeaway capacity has been unable to keep pace.