International Energy Agency

U.S. Drilling Permitting Finishes Strong, but Slow Start in New Year

Permits to drill in the U.S. onshore hit their second highest level for 2018 in December at 5,647, behind only November, Evercore ISI said Tuesday.

Analysts estimated the domestic permit count for 2018 stood at 55,818, up 26% year/year.

Permitting in the final month decelerated 11% month/month (m/m), but permits filed in December increased 14% year/year.

The December tally was 27% lower than in August 2014, when oil prices were higher, and was  down by one-third from June 2008’s 8,441 as unconventional activity was taking off.

All major oil and gas states, as well as Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), require drilling permits to be filed and approved before exploration and production companies may drill a well or bypass/sidetrack an existing well.

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