HOUSTON, June 4 (Reuters) - Energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie expects crude and condensate output from the Eagle Ford shale formation in Texas to double through 2020 to 2 million barrels per day (bpd), on par with output from the entire North Slope of Alaska at its peak.
The consultancy, in an update of its forecasts for U.S. shale fields on Wednesday, also said it now believes the Bakken field in North Dakota holds 21 billion barrels of recoverable crude. That is well above the 7.5 billion the government estimates.
The gaping difference stems from assumptions about the greater density of wells that operators will bore in the field and recent production data.
About 70 percent of crude now leaves the Bakken by rail, but the consultancy expects that to dip towards half by 2016 as new pipelines come online to handle growing onshore production that is moving the United States closer to energy self-sufficiency.
While projecting continued strong growth in the Permian Basin of Texas, especially the Wolfcamp shale, Wood Mackenzie also expects the Marcellus and Utica shales of Appalachia to grow further.
It sees output from the Marcellus rising to 20 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) of natural gas in 2018 from some 12-14 bcf/d now. For the Utica, it sees output climbing fivefold to 5 bcf/d through 2018. (Reporting By Terry Wade; Editing by Bernard Orr)