The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday that major tight oil producing states will drive U.S. production gains into 2018.
The EIA expects tight oil production in Texas, North Dakota, Oklahoma and New Mexico to account for the majority of production growth over the two years.
The EIA currently expects U.S. crude oil production to increase from an average of 8.9 million barrels per day in 2016 to an average of 9.3 million bpd in 2018.
Texas and North Dakota are expected to continue being the largest producers of crude oil thanks to the large amounts of economically recoverable resources in the Eagle Ford, Permian and Bakken regions.
The EIA said that, while overall U.S. oil production has been declining since the middle of 2015, production has continued to increase in the Permian region in Texas.
Permian production climbed 5 percent year-over-year to an average 2 million bpd in 2016.
The EIA expects Permian production to continue climbing to an average 2.3 million bpd in 2017 and 2.5 million bpd in 2018.
Production in the Eagle Ford is not expected to grow until late 2017.
The Eagle Ford region’s “significantly smaller geographic” area compared to the Permian region and its smaller target producing zones make the basin a smaller producer than the Permian.
The Eagle Ford’s target producing zones are only about 200 to 300 feet thick compared to the thousands of feet in the Permian.
Low oil price slowed the pace of drilling in the Eagle Ford and pulled production down from 1.6 million bpd in 2015 to 1.3 million bpd in 2016.
The EIA said that, although Eagle Ford productions are expected to continue declining through the first half of 2017, the region is expected to see a production boost starting in the third quarter.
The EIA said Eagle Ford production should continue growing through 2018 as higher oil prices encourage more drilling activity.
The growth in the Permian and Eagle Ford production is expected to help Texas hold onto the top spot as the country’s largest producing state through 2018.
While production from the Bakken and Three Forks formations have been declining since 2015, the EIA said rising oil prices should keep Bakken production at least flat through 2018.