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Texas oil production down year-over-year

Recovery is imminent, though actual production data shows the No. 1 oil producer has not yet caught up.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Texas oil production down year-over-year
Though recovery is imminent, a lag is apparent in oil production figures from Texas, the top oil producer in the United States. File Photo by ekina/Shutterstock

March 30 (UPI) -- Though recovery is expected to evolve through 2017, data on oil production from Texas show volumes declined year-over-year, based on preliminary figures.

The Railroad Commission of Texas, the state energy regulator, reported a preliminary volume of oil produced in January at 75,331,644 barrels. Year-over-year, preliminary production reported to the commission was 76,063,179 barrels, which was later updated to 89,235,660 barrels.

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Breaking the data down to daily output, the commission reported preliminary production levels in January were around 2.43 million barrels per day, compared with an average 2.45 million barrels per day for January 2016.

Lower crude oil prices last year curbed spending in the energy sector, a factor often reflected by rig counts. In its weekly reports, oilfield services company Baker Hughes has reported steady gains in rig activity in the United States as the market recovers, though there's a lag time between when drill bits start spinning and actual production.

RELATED Texas oil production down from 2015

Including an ultra-light form of oil called condensate in its total for 2016, production in Texas was down 10 percent from the previous year, the regulator reported. A decline in production for December was the first since at least 2010. Total production of oil, including condensate, peaked last year at the January level of 102.5 million barrels.

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Michael D. Plante, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said the latest industry survey finds a growing sense of optimism from those in the energy sector.

"Activity levels in the oil and gas sector continued growing at a rapid clip this quarter and nearly all survey measures pointed to further expansion," he said in a statement. "Outlooks remain positive, especially among oilfield services firms."

RELATED Oil state Texas still facing some economic pressures

The price for West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark for the price of oil, was near $50 per barrel early Thursday. The Dallas Fed said some work in parts of the Permian shale basin in Texas, one of the more lucrative in the country, is breaking even at $46 per barrel.

For the second quarter in a row, companies working on exploration and production expressed optimism, according to the bank's latest survey. Those responding told the Dallas Fed they expect WTI to hit $53 per barrel by the end of the year.

RELATED Dallas Fed: Energy sector slump a 'small shock'

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