U.S. drilling permit activity climbed sharply in July, led by the Eagle Ford Shale, Powder River and Permian basins, but the overall numbers are still short from the pre-pandemic days of July 2019, according to Evercore ISI.

drilling USA

The energy analyst team led by James West uses federal and state data to compile a monthly review of exploration and production (E&P) permit requests across the country. Permitting requests usually precede drilling development  by a few months.

Based on the latest tally, E&Ps last month requested 81% more permits than in June and 12% more than in July 2020.  

“The increase was driven by permit growth in the Powder River Basin,” which saw 550 more permits month/month (m/m), or a 1,505% increase, the Evercore team noted. 

The Permian permit count was...