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Permian, Eagle Ford Lead Texas Drilling as Production Climbs

Texas oil and natural gas production during October continued to climb from year-ago levels, according to preliminary data released by the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC). Drilling permit activity is down slightly from a year ago, but the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale regions continue to lead the pack for permits issued.

Preliminary October crude oil production averaged nearly 1.76 million b/d, up from the nearly 1.33 million b/d average of October 2012. The preliminary crude oil production figure for October is 54.5 million bbl, up from nearly 41.2 million bbl reported during October 2012.

Texas oil and gas wells produced 576.4 Bcf of gas based upon preliminary production figures for October, up from the October 2012 preliminary gas production total of 528.5 Bcf. Texas preliminary October total gas production averaged 18.6 Bcf/d.

The most recent monthly Texas Petro Index (TPI), which tracks state oil and gas trends, found that Texas natural gas has been benefiting from relatively higher prices (see Shale Daily, Dec. 18).

The commission's estimated final production for October is 63.9 million bbl of crude oil and 569.4 Bcf of gas well gas. The RRC derives final production numbers by multiplying the preliminary October 2013 production totals of 54.5 million bbl of crude oil and 462.9 Bcf of gas well gas by a production adjustment factor of 1.1726 for crude oil and 1.2301 for gas. These totals do not include casinghead gas or condensate.

Production in October came from 147,771 oil wells and 86,733 gas wells. In the last 12 months, total Texas reported production was 677 million bbl of oil and 6.3 Tcf of natural gas.

The Texas average rig count as of Dec. 13 was 846, representing about 50% of all active land rigs in the United States.

The commission issued 1,559 original drilling permits in November compared to 1,586 in November 2012. The latest total included 1,381 permits to drill new oil and gas wells, 30 to re-enter existing well bores, and 148 for recompletions. Permits issued included 439 oil, 87 gas, 961 oil and gas, 49 injection, four service and 19 other permits.

RRC District 8 (the Midland area), which is Permian Basin country, had the most permits at 429, followed by RRC District 1 (San Antonio), which is the Eagle Ford Shale region, at 259. District 8A (the Lubbock area) came in third at 153 permits.

According to the TPI, producers have turned their efforts more toward monetizing current assets by bringing wells into production rather than drilling new wells.

In November operators reported 1,625 oil,167 gas, 84 injection and three other completions compared to 1,486 oil, 279 gas, 41 injection and three other completions in November 2012. Total well completions for 2013 year to date are 23,311, up from 13,997 recorded during the same period in 2012.

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