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Marginal Oil Data

MARGINAL OIL

Marginal oil is produced from wells that oper- ate on the lower edge of profitability. Generally speaking, low-volume “stripper” wells – defined by the IOGCC as those wells producing 10 barrels of oil per day or less – fall into this category. e IOGCC has monitored the status of marginal wells in the United States since the 1940s.

Why all the concern about such small-volume wells? While each individual well contributes only a small amount of oil (2.18 barrels a day, on aver- age), there are 422,255 of these wells in the United

States. Combined, these marginal wells produced more than 335 million barrels of oil in 2006.

Plugged/Abandoned Wells Many states have programs that allow a well to temporarily stop production. ese “idle” wells are not included in the abandoned well category of this report; only wells that have been permanently plugged are included in the IOGCC’s definition. Also not included in this study’s abandoned well figures are “orphaned” wells. ese are wells that are not producing, have not been plugged, and whose owners are either insolvent or cannot be located.

1997

420,674

1998

406,380

1999

410,680

2000

411,629

2001

403,459

2002

402,072

2003

393,463

2004

397,362

2005

401,072

2006

422,255

323,487,914

2.11

15,172

316,870,286

2.14

13,912

315,514,283

2.10

11,227

325,947,181

2.17

10,718

316,099,192

2.15

12,234

323,776,606

2.21

13,635

313,748,001

2.18

14,300

310,922,122

2.14

11,977

321,761,570

2.20

11,058

335,312,467

2.18

11,738

U.S. Marginal Oil Well Data – Past 10 Years

Year

Number of Marginal

Marginal Oil Production

Oil Wells

(bbls)

Average Daily Prod. Per Well (bbls)

Plugged/ Abandoned

3

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