August natural gas and oil permitting across the Lower 48 reversed course from July, particularly in the Permian Basin, but activity still was higher than a year ago, according to data compiled by Evercore ISI.

Chesapeake rig

New well permitting declined in August by 3,106 month/month (m/m). Still, the tally last month was 27% higher than in August 2021 and 178% higher than in August 2020, as the pandemic stifled demand. 

However, permitting in August continued to trail 2019 levels by 37% and 2018’s by 29%, Evercore analysts noted. The financial firm each month tracks state and federal permitting trends. The August data showed Permian permitting overall was down by 25% m/m, or by 388 permits from July.  

“Permitting activity increases were reported in the Powder River Basin,” where...