In 2017, the Texas Railroad Commission issued thousands more oil and gas drilling permits than the previous year.
For January-December 2017, the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) issued 12,600 oil and gas permits to operators across the state, a steep increase over the 8,113 for the same time period of 2016.
For December 2017, the RRC issued 885 original drilling permits, compared to 1,009 in 2016. The breakdown includes:
- 792 new oil or gas wells permits
- 8 to re-enter plugged well bores permits
- 85 for re-completions of existing wells permits
- 175 oil, 67 gas, 586 oil or gas, 48 injection, zero service and nine other permits
The Midland area continues to lead development for December, with the RRC issuing 407 to the region. Next was the San Antonio region with 127 oil and gas permits issued.
The RRC also reports that there have been 29 new field discoveries since the beginning of the year; 15 oil and 14 natural gas.
Well completion rates dropped dramatically in 2017, with the agency reporting only 6,914 for the full year compared to 10,468 during 2016. This was the losest completiong rate since before 2008, the earliest record published by the agency.
— Texas Railroad Commission November Report