Production of associated natural gas, which is natural gas produced from predominantly oil wells, has nearly tripled since 2018 in the three top-producing tight oil plays in Permian Basin. U.S. Energy Information Administration said Wednesday data from Enverus show that associated natural gas from the Wolfcamp, Spraberry and Bone Spring plays averaged a combined 13.7 billion cubic feet per day in the first seven months of 2023 – up from an average of 4.7 Bcf/d in 2018.
Associated natural gas production has grown due to increases in both crude oil production and the volume of natural gas per barrel of oil that a well produces – the gas-to-oil ratio (GOR) – among the oil wells in these three plays. Any increase in the GOR in an oil well means more natural gas is being produced per barrel of oil. EIA defines oil wells as those with a GOR of less than or equal to 6.0 thousand cubic feet of natural gas per barrel of oil produced. EIA classifies wells with a GOR of more than 6.0 Mcf/b as natural gas wells.