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Texas oil and gas drilling climbs in March, but well completions slip

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Texas shale producers applied for more than 1,300 oil and gas drilling permits last month with the majority awarded in the Permian basin, the most active U.S. oil patch, according to the state’s energy regulator.

Despite a near tripling of new well permits, to 1,310 wells compared with 511 during the same month last year, the Texas Railroad Commission data also showed a decline in the number of well completions, the final step before production can begin.

“This is a clear indication that drilling activity will increase at a steady pace compared to last year,” said Ed Longanecker, president of trade group Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association.

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