Home / Business / Exclusive: U.S. oil and gas well permits plunge 37 percent in November
A worker monitors water tanks at a Hess fracking site near Williston, North Dakota November 12, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen

Exclusive: U.S. oil and gas well permits plunge 37 percent in November

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

60 comments

  1. Looks like the unemployment line then food stamps.. Future isn’t good for us oilfield workers

  2. Don’t let it scare you, that 40% is mostly in Texas area, the bakken is rockin 🙂

  3. This same Web site reported just a few days ago that rig permits were up in the Bakken and we wonder were speculation comes from

  4. The money we make you should have plenty saved up Steve Whitehead

  5. Opec can only flood market with crude driving down price for so long….. when they cut it back prices will go right back where they were business as usual….

  6. Lots of work slows up due to the cold weather and returns in the spring. Also has to do with leases expiring that were bought long ago. The Bakken remains active.

  7. It’s all a damned mystery to me.

  8. Been talking to a lot of big wigs from Hess. Their telling everyone to relax and that as of now were doing fine

  9. Time to double down as this is all orchestrated by those that want to enslave us! Keep innovating and leading!

  10. All that’s been talked about is how we need to “Drill Drill Drill” here at home to bring prices down and now YOU’RE crying b/c the price is down? Come live in the real world trying to live with gas prices so high and then talk to me about how little money you have. Guess you’ll have to live on 80 Grand a year rather than 100.

    • If you don’t like how much money you make put your big girl panties on and come work in the oil patch then you can buy gas that your job produces and you have a whole new out look on it. If you can’t handle being in the patch then sit by your dish and let us work.

    • I don’t doubt you work hard. But you aren’t the only ones who do. My original point was how fracking was supposedly going to be the “Big Answer” to OPEC strangling this Nation with high costs. So no, sorry, I don’t feel any sympathy when these companies that go on Sean Hannity and other outlets making these claims start “crying” that gas prices are now going down to s reasonable level. As far as “big girl briches” well I worked the past 13 years in the statistically #2 “Most Life-Threatening Jobs” in America. In the #1 “MoMaybe when YOU have someone come in to YOUR work shooting up the place, (which has happened in MY shop), YOU can talk to ME about dangerous. And btw, I’m planning on working in the Gas Industry. So I’m not against them making money. But not at the expense of the rest of the country. We got a President doing enough of taking our livelihood. We don’t need more.

  11. Hopefully, the new senate will be motivated to change the rules on oil export. It appears the law in place is from the 70’s and is way outdated. With the cartel playing with us like puppets, it should have been changed a long time ago.

  12. Why is our own oil on a world market? Cuz its a rigged game!! Hemp kills big oil in a heartbeat…

  13. This whole thing is about O’Bama putting pressure on Saudia Arabia to flood the market so Russia is unable to finance further aggression. If you remember the last time oil fell to historic lows the Soviet Union collapsed.

  14. The oil/acre produced by hemp(industrial hemp,not the smokin kind) puts oil outta business….along with many other owned industries….thats why its illegal to grow & produce. And we’re taught & believe the LIE called free market economics….ha

  15. Corey Green what do you think about this?

    • Not looking good. can’t really tell til after the first of the year how bad it’s really going to be but there are companies stackin rigs so who knows

    • Just had a meeting with our boss and a big customer. We are projecting a 68% increase in sales for 2015.

    • I sure hope it doesn’t drop to much and increase by 68% like you say.

    • Yep the mid to small company’s are stacking rigs because the increase in operating costs in the winter coupled with low bbl price and declining stock puts to much pressure on operating costs for what’s already producing and no way these company’s are going to frac right now… But the marathon, Hess and ConocoPhillips, Eog and stat will be just fine and business as usual!! I know Oxy has cut down to one rig and not sure if continental has cut, I know they went off the guarantee pricing list in hopes to make a pile when it goes back up… Will be an interesting 3 or 4 months!!!

  16. So Awbrey because there is no money to be made, no permits?

  17. It’s called boom and bust. All things come to a end. There has never been a guarantee in the oil industry. Save your money like it will end tomorrow and have plan B and C ready. Live and love like you did before you made this kind of money and be thankful.

  18. Oil has most likely not yet peaked, it is the economic sanctions on Russia that are having this effect. Foreign buyers would rather do business with the US and it’s partners than with Putin, dispite that who helms the oval office. Besides, congress is on board with tightening sanctions anyway, it’s unilateral. Putin is his country’s worst enemy. They won’t have enough money to fund another cold war.

  19. Broken wells can sometimes produce 4000 barrels daily. There not gonna quit in those areas. But wells that can’t won’t be refraced or shut down. It’s not gonndoing ne where in thoshe ground. Store it naturally and get it later when we need it.

  20. It was only a matter of time before the rest of the infected economy hit the oil fields. Thank Washington D.C. politicians who are slaves of the House of Saud.

  21. OPEC people.

    Now you understand why we stick our noses in affairs over east because OPEC is that powerful.

    Further illustrates how ‘drill baby, drill’ is a vital part to national security.

    Lastly, you extraction tax heroes wanting to increase it should now see the light. If it were higher things would be even tighter.

    Yes, not a lot to worry about if your capital is strong but if you are a smaller company this will start to raise hell.

    Even bigger companies are mindful of this and will stack rigs if they must. Some are. And yes, some is due to winter now here. But oil this low is something not to balk at. Not with today’s operating costs anyway.

  22. Oil companies do not have to make ” billions “. They can take a smaller cut to help get this country back on track economically .

    • So makes 5 to 6% isn’t low enough? Restaurants have higher margins than that. The only reason they make billions is because they sell billions.

    • Neither does bill gates. Having to and wanting are different things. They don’t do this to create your wealth. They do it for themselves. I work my job for no other reasons than for me and my kids. I care little about anyone not involved in my life. Our economy would swell if we would just find NASA and give a drive to a new frontier of expansion and technology. The oil industry would have much less power that way. Instead of saying you don’t have to make that much. So what. I don’t have to make what I make. But it allows me to do more making more.

  23. Not good for our line of work

  24. Its just like the stock market every boom has adjustments OPEC has increased world production they will get greedy again and slow production for higher market prices and higher profit margins compared to production cost panic time will be when rigs are stacked out on the locations and abandonded

  25. Chris Sutton Gary Anderson good luck out there homies

  26. The brwak even is wayyyyyyy les than50 a barrel…..on a lotta wells around me…..and I have the paperwork to prove it…..scare tactics ….spun up by opec

  27. Wonder what they did here in Osage County.

  28. Business as usual in the Bakken…not even giving it a second thought

  29. Irion and Reagan county doin just fine. EP energy has fracs lined up this road in Barnhart TX. 2-3 rigs and 2 frac teams at all times, Bunch of double and triple wells, at least month long jobs back to back to back. No signs of slowing down the concho valley. our apache work in barnhart is very consistent as well

  30. Yup talked to a conoco phillips consultant just other day they said budget on 80.00 barrel but truth be known oil companies still at 10% profit at 45 a barrel day rates on rigs are higher but they can drill a well in half the time than they could in the past

  31. If you have oil stocks, time to sell.

  32. Nope time to buy oil stocks cause when opec stops flooding market crude going right back where it was at

  33. I would have to say thats more due to the season versus the gas prices.

  34. Just exactly why have oil prices gone down so much and so fast???

    • Value of the dollar is high.Less oil value for the Euro and other currencies. They are trying to force our small drillers out before they become big. World economy

  35. They did this so we would have to buy oil from OPEC amen company’s don’t want to drill cause the price of oil is to low so watch out it want be long gas price going sky rocket amen

  36. Glad to see a Frac going on! Good looking Manifold !

  37. Obama and his environmental wackos can’t stand the fact production is up n the US.

  38. Obama has increased production and drilling.

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