The amount of drilling permits issued in Texas by June of this year was down 69% compared to a year ago.
The country’s biggest-oil producing state handed out less than one-third of the oil and gas drilling permits compared to June 2019, thanks largely to the COVID-19 pandemic and its harmful effect on the nation’s oil and gas industry.
Reports indicate that the Texas Railroad Commission approved 312 new drilling permits in June compared to 1,001 issued a year earlier.
Railroad Commission spokesman Andrew Keese explained stay-at-home orders as well as lockdowns have reduced oil consumption and as a result, permitting has slowed too.
“There’s been a drop in drilling permits as business and travel slowdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic took hold along with the oil price drop that occurred due to increased oil supply,” Keese said.
In January, the commission gave out 1,133 drilling permits compared with 1,199 the previous January. By March, the number of permits was down to 744 compared with 1,137 the year before. In May, just 251 permits were awarded, less than a quarter of the prior year’s levels.