More oil: Permian keeps on drilling

A sign pointing the way to a sand loading site at the Superior Silica Sands sand mine is shown on Tuesday, March 28, 2017, in Kosse, Texas. Demand for sand is surging as oil and gas production in the Permian Basin is booming again. Not only is the need for more sand on the rise with the increase in oil and gas production in west Texas, but much more sand is being pumed into each well now withi the emerging thesis that more sand equals more oil extracted. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

Drillers in the Permian Basin just keep cranking out more oil.

Crude production in the Permian increased by 57,700 barrels per day from February to March, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Wells drilled but not completed — a sign of production to come — also increased, and are now at their highest count in more than three years.

“The firming of crude oil prices since the OPEC agreement has likely boosted confidence in the sector,” said Dallas Fed senior research analyst Kunal Patel.

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And those wells drilled but not completed mean Permian operators can quickly produce more oil when crude prices rise.

Permian Basin production increased in March by almost 3 percent to 2 million barrels per day, double the increase in South Texas’ Eagle Ford, where production rose by a little more than 1 percent to 1 million barrels per day. Operating rigs numbered 310 in the Permian and 80 in the Eagle Ford in March.

The Fed also reported an increase in oil and gas employment in Texas, of 3,000 jobs in February to roughly 208,300 total.

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