Horizontal Drilling Credited with Shale Success

US operators should add another 1.5 million b/d of oil and liquids production by 2015 due to the continued growth of shale plays, EOG Resources CEO Mark Papa predicted Tuesday.

Addressing the 40th annual Howard Weil Energy Conference in New Orleans, Papa touted his company shift to oil production from natural gas and emphasized the impact of the industry's shift on historical US oil production.

"We believe that in 2015, US production will be 1.5 million b/d higher than today for the first significant increase in 40 years," he said.

Papa noted that US oil production peaked about 1970 at a rate of 9 million to 10 million b/d.

After years of decline, US oil production has risen the last two years to a current level of about 5.8 million b/d.

Papa credited the revolution in horizontal drilling for exploitation of shales and predicted further growth to add another 1.5 million b/d by 2015, bringing average US output up to a level of more than 7 million b/d.