• 2015 Marginal Well Report

2015 Marginal Well Report



The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) champions the preservation of this country’s low-volume, marginally economic wells. The IOGCC recognizes that it goes to the heart of conservation values to do all that is possible to productively recover the scarce oil and natural gas resources marginal wells produce.

The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) has released the 2015 Marginal Well Report that documents marginal well activity and the economic contribution of marginal production in the United States.

Despite current industry challenges, marginal wells remain in widespread operation across the country and continue to reliably produce a meaningful share of total domestic oil and natural gas output. According to the report, 72.2 percent of all operating wells in the U.S. in 2015 are marginal.

This report, which includes twenty-nine states, is based on data collected from the IOGCC marginal well survey that covers production activity for the calendars years of 2013, 2014 and 2015.

The report states that marginal wells have contributed more than $300 billion of production in the form of 2.85 billion barrels of oil and 19.9 billion Mcf of natural gas over the last ten years.

The IOGCC defines a marginal well as a well that produces 10 barrels of oil or 60 Mcf of natural gas per day or less. Generally, these wells started their productive life producing much greater volumes using natural pressure. Over time, the pressure decreases and production drops. That is not to say that the reservoirs which feed the wells are necessarily depleted. It has been estimated that in many cases marginal wells may be accessing a reservoir that stills holds two-thirds of its potential value.

However, because these resources are not always easily or economically accessible, many of the marginal wells in the United States are at risk of being prematurely abandoned, leaving large quantities of oil or gas behind. In addition to supplying much-needed energy, marginal wells are important to communities across the country, providing jobs and driving economic activity. Today, as the nation ponders the solution to its energy challenges, the commission continues to tell the story of how low-volume producing wells can collectively contribute to a sound energy and economic future.