The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) issued 727 original drilling permits in December 2015 compared to 1,506 in December 2014. Well completions are also down sharply.
The December total included 622 permits to drill new oil or gas wells, 12 to re-enter plugged well bores and 93 for re-completions of existing well bores. December permits included 159 oil, 42 gas, 440 oil or gas, 54 injection, two service and 30 other permits.
Last month, commission staff processed 788 oil, 151 gas, 53 injection and one other completions, compared to 1,559 oil, 353 gas, 45 injection and two other completions in December 2014. Total well completions for 2015 are 19,503, down from the 29,554 recorded in 2014.
According to Baker Hughes Inc., the most recent Texas rig count was 308, representing about 46% of all active rigs in the United States (see Shale Daily, Jan. 8). Before the bust, Texas accounted for about 50% of active rigs in the U.S.
RRC District 8, representing the oil-rich Midland area, has seen the most activity lately, with 275 December permits for oil/gas holes, 256 oil well completions and 14 natural gas well completions. The Texas Panhandle, RRC District 10, saw the most gas completions last month at 46, but it only had 14 oil/gas hole permits and 26 oil completions. District 1, representing the San Antonio area and the Eagle Ford Shale region, had 183 oil completions and 30 gas completions while 87 oil/gas hole permits were issued last month.