Crude oil traded above $60 a barrel at the close of last month, a level that has encouraged increased drilling. Since then, Texas oil and gas producers have received 1,166 drilling permits, which marks a 21 percent increase over one year ago.
According to Baker Hughes, there were 478 rigs operating in Texas in early February, compared to 361 rigs in operation back in February of 2017.
According to Texas Railroad Commission well completions have risen by 79 percent from a year ago to 963, with the spike in completions coming mostly as oil producers work through a growing backlog of drilled-but-uncompleted wells known as DUCs – the final step before drilling can begin again.
According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, as of December, there were some 2,777 DUCs in the Permian Basin and 7,493 DUCs in the United States.
Although the rate of well completions in Texas is on the rise, the number of DUCs in the state also continues to climb which is an indication that producers are still drilling wells faster than they can be completed.