Production of Texas oil and natural gas during November was higher than year-ago levels, based on preliminary data from the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC). While crude oil output was up from October’s level, Natural gas production declined.

Texas preliminary November crude oil production averaged 1.82 million b/d, up from the 1.37 million b/d average of November 2012. Preliminary November production was 54.46 million bbl, up from 41.15 million bbl reported a year ago. The November figure also marked an increase from October’s 1.76 million b/d preliminary figure.

Texas oil and gas wells produced 561.05 Bcf of gas based upon preliminary figures for November, up from the year-ago preliminary total of 512.89 Bcf but down from October’s 576.4 Bcf. Texas preliminary November gas production averaged 18.70 Bcf/d.

The commission’s final production figure for November is 62.66 million bbl of crude oil and 549.78 Bcf of gas well gas. The RRC derives final production numbers by multiplying the preliminary November production totals of 54.46 million bbl of crude oil and 449.54 Bcf of gas well gas by a production adjustment factor of 1.1506 for crude oil and 1.2230 for gas well gas. These totals do not include casinghead gas or condensate.

Production of casinghead gas has been trending upward for at least the last seven years. The annual total in 2007 was just over 657 Bcf. For January-November of 2013 the total was more than 1.32 Tcf, based on preliminary data.

November production came from 159,065 oil wells and 92,915 gas wells. The top 10 oil-producing counties during November were Karnes, La Salle, Gonzales, Andrews DeWitt, McMullen, Ector, Martin, Gaines and Upton. The top 10 gas-producing counties were Tarrant, Webb, Johnson, Panola, Wise, Denton, Wheeler, DeWitt, Freestone and Dimmit.

Permitting activity in December was up from a year ago. The commission issued 1,619 original drilling permits compared to 1,457 in December 2012. The December total included 1,472 permits to drill new oil and gas wells, 36 to re-enter existing wellbores, and 111 for recompletions. Permits issued in December 2013 included 451 oil, 74 gas, 1,002 oil and gas, 70 injection, zero service and 22 other permits.

According to the Texas Petro Index (TPI), a barometer of industry activity in the Lone Star State, Texas set its fourth consecutive monthly record in December for upstream oil and gas activity based on a number of factors (see Shale Daily, Jan. 29). The TPI, a composite index based upon a group of upstream economic indicators, reached 295.0 in December, which is the fourth consecutive month that the TPI has reached new heights. The previous record was set in September-October 2008.

In December operators reported 1,348 oil, 156 gas, 107 injection and zero other completions compared to 815 oil, 198 gas, 29 injection and two other completions in December 2012. Total well completions for 2013 year to date are 24,922, up from 15,041 recorded during the same period in 2012, which is testament to the attention producers have paid to monetizing assets.

The Texas average rig count as of Jan. 24 was 837, representing about 49% of all active land rigs in the United States.