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Texas Crude Production Climbing, NatGas Down From Year-Ago Levels

Texas crude oil and natural gas production statistics continue to reflect producers’ preference for oil over less-lucrative natural gas.

Preliminary August crude oil production averaged 2.23 million b/d, up from nearly 1.80 b/d in August 2013. Preliminary production for August is 69.20 million bbl, up from the preliminary 55.68 million bbl reported during August 2013. The final figure reported for August 2013 was 67.07 million bbl. The final figure reported for July 2014 was 73.33 million bbl, according to RRC data.

Texas oil and gas wells produced 621.51 Bcf of gas based on preliminary figures for August, up from the year-ago preliminary production figure of 610.32 Bcf. Preliminary August gas production averaged 20.05 Bcf/d. August production came from 170,243 oil wells and 94,088 gas wells. However, the final tally for total gas production was 703 Bcf in August 2013 and 662.62 Bcf in July 2014.

So far this year, total gas production figures have set a month-to-month pattern of climbing one month and falling the next (see chart). However, each month in 2014 has seen lower total gas production compared with its corresponding month in 2013. At the same time, monthly crude oil production this year has consistently been above year-ago levels.

Estimated final production for August is 81.45 million bbl of crude oil and 524.27 Bcf of gas well gas. The estimated final production numbers are derived by multiplying the preliminary totals of 69.20 million bbl of crude oil and 462.24 Bcf of gas well gas by an adjustment factor of 1.1770 for crude oil and 1.1342 for gas well gas. The production totals do not include casinghead gas or condensate. In August 2013, Texas gas wells produced 559.41 Bcf of gas. In July 2014 they produced 494.41 Bcf. Casinghead gas production was 159.26 Bcf in August, 143.59 Bcf in August 2013 and 168.20 Bcf in July 2014.

In the last 12 months, total Texas reported production was 836 million bbl of oil and 7.9 Tcf of natural gas.

The commission issued 3,013 drilling permits in September compared to 1,531 in September 2013. The latest tally included 2,667 permits to drill new oil and gas wells, 49 to re-enter existing well bores and 297 for recompletions. September permits included 934 oil, 173 gas, 1,811 oil and gas, 82 injection, one service and 12 "other" permits.

In September, operators reported 2,048 oil, 328 gas and 109 injection well completions and seven "other" well completions, compared to 1,456 oil, 424 gas, 10 injection and three "other" completions in September 2013. Year-to-date well completions are 23,149, up from 19,114 during the year-ago period.

The state's average rig count as of Oct. 24 was 904, representing about 49% of all active land rigs in the United States.

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