Texas crude oil production during November was up from a year ago while natural gas production declined; during December, oil well completions were up while gas well completions declined, and the number of drilling permits issued was down from a year ago, according to the latest figures from Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC).

Texas preliminary November crude oil production averaged 1.37 million b/d, up from 996,694 b/d in November 2011. During November, 41.15 million bbl was produced, up from 29.9 million bbl during November 2011.

During November, Texas oil and gas wells produced 512.89 Bcf of gas based upon preliminary figures, which was down from 515.16 Bcf in November 2011. Texas preliminary November total gas production averaged 17.10 Bcf/d.

Last year, Texas producers boosted their crude oil production for the third year in a row as they followed the industry-wide migration from dry gas to oil and liquids-rich plays, which offer better returns in the low natural gas price environment (see Shale Daily, Jan. 29).

As of January, the average rig count in Texas was 812, which represents about 48% of all land rigs active in the United States, according to the RRC. Over the last 12 months, Texas production was 520 million bbl of oil and 7.2 Tcf of natural gas.

The state’s top 10 oil-producing counties in November were Karnes, Andrews, Ector, La Salle, Yoakum, Midland, Upton, De Witt, Martin and Gonzales. Karnes, La Salle, De Witt and Gonzales are in the 30-county Eagle Ford Shale region of South Texas. The other counties are in the Permian Basin region of West Texas.

The top 10 gas-producing counties were Tarrant, Johnson, Webb, Pecos, Panola, Wise, Denton, Freestone, Nacogdoches and Zapata. Tarrant, Johnson, Wise and Denton counties are considered to be in the core of the Barnett Shale of North Texas.

In December, operators reported 815 oil, 198 gas, 29 injection and two other well completions compared to 608 oil, 211 gas, 45 injection and two other completions in December 2011.

Total well completions for 2012 year to date are 15,041 up from 8,790 recorded during the same period in 2011.

The RRC issued 1,457 original drilling permits in December compared to 1,630 in December 2011. The most recent total included 1,347 permits to drill new oil and gas wells, 23 to re-enter existing well bores, and 87 for re-completions. Permits issued in December included 460 oil, 115 gas, 838 oil and gas, 34 injection, zero service and 10 other permits.