HOUSTON (Reuters) – Sinking oil prices caused a nearly 40 percent drop in the number of new well permits issued across the United States in November, pointing to a sudden pause in the growth of the U.S. shale oil and gas boom that started around 2007.
Data provided exclusively to Reuters on Tuesday by industry data firm Drilling Info showed 4,520 permits for new oil and gas wells were approved in November, down 37 percent from 7,227 in October.
New permits, which indicate what drilling rigs will be doing 60-90 days in the future, showed for the first time this year steep declines across the top three U.S. onshore fields: the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford in Texas and North Dakota’s Bakken shale.
The Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico showed a 38 percent decline in new oil and gas well permits last month, while the Eagle Ford and Bakken permit counts fell 28 percent and 29 percent, respectively, the data showed.
The slides came in the same month U.S. crude oil futures fell 17 percent to $66.17 on Nov. 28 from $80.54 on Oct. 31. Prices are down about 40 percent since June.
(Reporting By Kristen Hays; Editing by Terry Wade) Copyright (2014) Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions