Oil drilling in Permian matches rest of U.S.

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U.S. oil drilling activity is concentrating in West Texas’ Permian Basin. The Permian, which stretches into southeastern New Mexico, now holds nearly as many active oil rigs as the rest of the country combined, including those offshore, the U.S. Department of Energy reported this week.

The rig count has been rising since this summer, the report shows. But the Permian began seeing rigs increase earlier than the U.S. as a whole, and is adding rigs more quickly. Of the roughly 450 total U.S. rigs, the Permian now accounts for about 220.

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Moreover, the Permian is the only region expected to increase production for the third consecutive month, the report said.

Permian production has now crested 2 million barrels of oil per day. South Texas’ Eagle Ford oilfield and North Dakota’s Bakken have both fallen to less than 1 million barrels per day.

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