About half of the active land drilling rigs in the United States are drilling in Texas, home of red hot oil plays in the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale. Based on preliminary Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) production figures for August, production of oil and gas in the state are up from year-ago levels.

Texas preliminary August crude oil production averaged 1.8 million b/d, up from the 1.3 million b/d average of August 2012. The preliminary crude oil production figure for August is 55.7 million bbl, up from 41.6 million bbl reported a year ago.

Lone Star state oil and gas wells produced 610.3 Bcf of natural gas based upon preliminary figures for August, up from the year-ago total of 549.9 Bcf. Texas preliminary August gas production averaged 19.7 Bcf/d.

Estimated final production for August is 67.2 million bbl of crude oil and 609.2 Bcf of natural gas well gas. RRC derives final production numbers by multiplying the preliminary August production totals of 55.7 million bbl of crude oil and 489.9 Bcf of gas well gas by a production adjustment factor of 1.2078 for crude oil and 1.2434 for gas well gas. Production totals do not include casinghead gas or condensate.

August production came from 161,709 oil wells and 94,171 gas wells. In the last 12 months, Texas reported production was 583 million bbl of oil and 7.4 Tcf of natural gas.

The top 10 crude oil counties in Texas during August were Karnes, La Salle, Gonzales, DeWitt, Andrews, Dimmit, Ector, McMullen, Gaines and Martin. The top natural gas counties were Tarrant, Webb, Johnson, Panola, Wise, Denton, Wheeler, DeWitt, Dimmit and Freestone.

The Texas rig count as of Oct. 18 was 812, representing about 49% of all active land rigs in the United States. The number of rigs in the state peaked at 938 in June 2012 and has been close to 50% of the U.S. total for nearly a year.

The commission issued 1,531 original drilling permits in September compared to 1,640 in September 2012. The September total included 1,383 permits to drill new oil and gas wells, 17 to re-enter existing well bores, and 131 for re-completions. Permits issued in September included 517 oil, 91 gas, 836 oil and gas, 55 injection, two service and 30 other permits.

In September operators reported 1,456 oil, 424 gas, 10 injection and three other completions compared to 657 oil, 178 gas, 34 injection and two other completions in September 2012. Well completions for 2013 year to date are 19,114, which is up substantially from 10,836 recorded during the same period in 2012, as operators continue to make drilling efficiency gains.