Texas oil production down from 2015

Preliminary data show December 2016 in a rare downturn for output.

By Daniel J. Graeber

Feb. 24 (UPI) -- If preliminary data are accurate, total Texas crude oil production for 2016 was down 10 percent from the previous year, the state government reported.

The Railroad Commission of Texas reported a preliminary production rate for crude oil of 74.2 million barrels for all of December, down from the 76.7 million barrels reported for the previous month. When including condensate, an ultra-light form of oil, preliminary production for December was 83.2 million barrels, down 3.6 million barrels from November.


Condensate is an ultra-light form of oil found in shale deposits that's not classified by national standards as crude oil.

"These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received," the commission stated.

Including condensate in its total for 2016, production in Texas was down 10 percent from the previous year. The 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.

Texas is the No. 1 oil producer in the United States. Its Permian shale basin is seen as one of the more lucrative in the country and somewhat resilient to the strains of lower crude oil prices.


For the state as a whole, a January report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas indicated 700 jobs were lost in December, but job prospects were better than in November.

Keith R. Phillips, a senior economist at the bank, said at the time the energy sector was showing signs of recovery and executives responding to surveys expected further improvement for 2017. That would spill over to the manufacturing sector, though a stronger dollar was hurting exports for Texas because that made products more expensive on the global market.

Production figures for 2017 may indicate recovery returning to Texas. Oilfield services company Baker Hughes has reported steady gains in exploration and production activity in Texas, with its latest report showing a weekly rig count increase of 4 percent.

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