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Texas oil production up slightly from early summer

Energy sector activity increasing, but output levels are still lower than last year.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Texas oil production up slightly from early summer
Texas crude oil production levels show some recovery in progress, though last year was better than this one. File Photo by Gary C. Caskey/UPI | License Photo

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Texas crude oil production data show some recovery under way, though output is still lower than last year, a state regulatory agency reported.

The Texas Railroad Commission, the state energy regulator, reported daily production for July of 2.4 million barrels of oil per day. That's about 3 percent higher, or about 76,000 bpd, higher than two months ago.

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Texas is the No. 1 oil producer in the United States and just over 1 billion barrels of crude oil came out of the state over the past 12 months, the state regulator said.

The slight recovery comes as crude oil prices are holding steady in the mid $40-per-barrel range and energy companies are starting to show resilience to what was abnormal just two years ago when crude oil prices were about $100 per barrel.

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Last week, oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported energy companies put another two rigs in service in Texas when compared with the week ending Sept. 16. Rig counts serve as a loose metric to gauge sector confidence and the number has been on a steady rise since early summer.

Compared with last year, however, the rig count in Texas is lower by 32 percent. Year-on-year, Texas crude oil production is down about 0.8 percent, or by 21,100 bpd.

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Apart from oil, Texas is one of the top manufacturing states in the country and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas said a stronger dollar, which makes U.S. goods more expensive, continued to put pressure on that part of the state economy.

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The bank warned earlier this year that the pressure from low oil prices was spilling over to other parts of the economy, with banks in southern U.S. states facing increasing risk. In its Beige Book, the bank said high-tech manufacturing growth was witnessed across the board, though construction-related manufacturing was mixed.

Even though drilling activity picked up across the state, demand for oilfield services declined. With oil prices what they are, the bank said companies tied to the oil and gas industry in the state were showing signs of distress.

Crude oil prices are about 2 percent lower than they were this time last year.

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