When is a trend not a trend? Decline in the Legacy Production of the Permian

A longer version of my question….

The EIA kindly publishes detailed production data from the US. The monthly data is generally considered the most reliable. Here I am just looking at the Permian subset.

It is presented as total production – with the increment month-on-month being the net of a (big) decline in all previous production (“Legacy”) and a usually bigger increase in new production (although this recent example is of a small net decrease)

Rinse and repeat, month after month and the overall production increases.

However, there seem to be two unknowns:

  1. The actual decline of the Legacy and,
  2. The real “new” production
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