Texas oil and gas production has been trending downward, according to Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) data; meanwhile, permitting and completions activity are both off from year-ago levels.

Preliminary April crude oil production averaged 2.32 million b/d (69.60 million bbl for the month), up from the 2.04 million b/d (61.30 million bbl for the month) of April 2014; however, it was down from 77.21 million bbl in January, 70.02 million bbl in February and the preliminary 71.59 million bbl in March, according to RRCdata.

Oil and gas wells produced 587.18 Bcf of gas based upon preliminary figures for April, up from the year-ago preliminary total of 562.82 Bcf. Preliminary April total gas production averaged 19.57 Bcf/d. Total gas production was 672.96 Bcf in January, declining to 605.29 Bcf in February but climbing to 614.35 Bcf in March.

Estimated final production for April is 82.99 million bbl of crude oil and 503.07 Bcf of gas well gas. The commission derives final production numbers by multiplying the preliminary April production totals of 69.60 million bbl of crude oil and 430.86 Bcf of gas well gas by a production adjustment factor of 1.1924 for crude oil and 1.1676 for gas well gas. Totals do not include casinghead gas or condensate.

RRC said that in the last 12 months, Texas reported production was 959 million bbl of oil and 8.3 Tcf of natural gas.

While in April well completions were up substantially from the year-ago period (see Shale Daily, May 28), the May completions tally -- the most recent -- resumed the ongoing trend of completions trending lower than one year ago. According to RRC, in May operators reported 1,299 oil, 201 gas, 72 injection and seven other completions compared to 2,057 oil, 323 gas, 78 injection and 12 other completions in May 2014. Total well completions for 2015 year to date are 9,832, down from 13,729 recorded during the same period in 2014.

Well permitting was also down from the year-ago period, RRC issued 916 original drilling permits in May compared to 2,389 in May 2014. The latest total included 778 permits to drill new oil and gas wells, 17 to re-enter existing well bores and 121 for recompletions. Permits issued included 222 oil, 55 gas, 583 oil and gas, 34 injection, one service and 21 other permits.

The Texas average rig count as of June 19, was 363, representing about 44% of all active land rigs in the United States, according to Baker Hughes Inc.