Recent volatility in production estimates is largely due to OPEC's decision to retain current levels.

The most recent report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects U.S. production next year increasing by 720,000 barrels per day (bpd). This figure represents a decrease in expected production by roughly 100,000 bpd, and puts the most recent total at around 9.3 million bpd. 

This decrease marks a continuing trend from last month, when the EIA trimmed its 2015 U.S. production outlook by 100,000 bpd to an average of 9.4 million bpd. The shrinking projections are likely a result of a decline in estimated world demand. Previous forecasts for demand put year-on-year gains at 1.12 million bpd, which recently fell to 880,000 bpd, according to EIA data. 

In its report, the EIA  explained that it expects the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) crude oil production to fall by 100,000 bpd in 2014 and by 200,000 bpd in 2015. OPEC policy has become the subject of recent debate, as member countries look to maintain market share by not acting to address sell-offs in oil markets. 

This decision has led crude prices to slip, although U.S and Brent crude seem to be holding steady for the moment. The fall in prices and estimated demand may mean that some oil drilling companies could experience a need to review their existing processes, and determine if any inefficiencies can be addressed to protect current margins.

For this task, oil and gas strategy consulting can provide the necessary insight to weather the current price dip. An above-the-fray perspective on operational processes can help identify previously overlooked overlaps in services, and help convince entrenched management about the need to regularly review existing processes.