Texas oil production slightly lower, early data show

Production levels don't yet reveal the impact from Hurricane Harvey, which hit Texas in late August.
By Daniel J. Graeber   |   Sept. 26, 2017 at 6:01 AM
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Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Crude oil production reported to the state energy regulator in Texas for July was slightly lower than last year, preliminary data show.

Texas is the No. 1 oil producer in the nation and at least parts of four of the seven active shale basins in the country lie within its borders. The Railroad Commission of Texas, the state's energy regulator, reported total crude oil production from August 2016 to July 2017 at nearly 1 billion barrels.

For July, the commission said crude oil production averaged 2.43 million bpd, about 6,000 bpd shy of the level from July last year. Commission data don't show production per basin or explain variances.

A drilling productivity report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show production from the Permian basin, the most prolific in terms of production and the largest by Texas acreage, at 2.4 million bpd, though that level would technically include output from the portion in New Mexico.

The same productivity report, dated July 17, show new oil produced per rig in the Permian shale is on the decline. A report dated Aug. 14 show the number of wells drilled, but not completed, in the Permian basin increased 6 percent between June and July.

Wells completed loosely equates to the prospect for commercial operations, with completions indicating an operation is close to actual production. Uncompleted wells could indicate a potential slowdown in Texas production, though economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas said the rising number of drilled, but uncompleted, wells in the Permian basin could indicate the reservoir could respond with a larger increase in production when market conditions are more favorable.

August and September data may be skewed by the impact from Hurricane Harvey, which hit Texas in late August. The Dallas Fed said last month the expansion of a pipeline in the state during the second quarter would likely support growth in Permian production.

Preliminary data from the state tend to be skewed toward the low side. The preliminary level for July last year was 75.5 million barrels, but later updated to 84.5 million barrels. Data, published Monday, do not include condensate, an ultra-light form of oil found in some shale basins.

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