Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

Drilling Still on the Rise in Texas

Oil and gas drilling in Texas is alive and well, according to a new numbers from the Railroad Commission of Texas.

Photo courtesy of nikki_flowers/Flickr Creative Commons

One of Texas' many oil rigs.

The commission says that 943 oil permits were completed this March, meaning that they’ve been built and are either scheduled to produce or already producing. That’s up from 518 oil completions during March 2011. Another 421 natural gas permits were completed the same month. Overall, Texas still accounts for about half of the active drilling in the U.S., producing some 417 million barrels of oil and over 7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the last twelve months.

Despite natural gas prices reaching a ten-year low, fracking for gas isn’t down over last year. Production is up almost twenty-five million Mcf (thousand cubic feet), and gas completions are especially active in the Haynesville Shale and North and South Texas.

Midland, San Antonio, and San Angelo were awarded the most oil and gas drilling permits – 750, 360, and 221, respectively – while East Central, East, and Deep South Texas got the least – 26, 41, and 56, respectively.

Here’s some more relevant data from the Commission’s report:

  • Texas saw 3,797 wells completed in 2012 so far, a staggering 76 percent increase from the 2,148 wells completed during the same period in 2011.
  • The Commission issued a combined 2,201 original drilling permits in March 2012, a 10 percent increase from the 1,995 permits awarded in March 2011.
  • Gaines County produced 1,981,238 barrels of crude oil during February 2012, the most of any county. Tarrant County produced the most gas, clocking in at a total of 58,289,190 Mcf (thousand cubic feet) in February 2012.

  • Crude oil production for February 2012 averaged around 1,137,122 barrels/daily. That’s nearly 29 percent more than the 882,550 barrels produced daily in February 2011.
  • Texas oil and gas wells produced 496,727,786 Mcf (thousand cubic feet) of gas in February 2012. That’s a 5 percent increase from the 472,883,565 Mcf produced in February 2011.


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