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The Midland basin in Texas produced an average of 1.68 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil last year, accounting for 15 percent of all crude output in America, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday, citing data from Enverus.
In addition to crude oil, the Midland basin also produced a lot of dry natural gas—5.4 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2020, which made up roughly 6 percent of the entire dry natural gas production in the United States last year.
Since the start of the shale revolution in the 2010s, shale intervals of the Spraberry and Wolfcamp formations in the Midland basin have become the main targets for oil exploration and production. Before that, vertical drilling generated most of the Midland basin’s crude oil production until the middle of the 2010s, the EIA said.
As of the end of July 2021, a total of 107 drilling rigs and 28 fracking crews operated in the Midland Basin, as per Enverus data cited by the EIA. At that time, the Midland Basin accounted for 44 percent of all rigs operating in the Permian Basin and 22 percent of all rigs operating in the United States.
Last summer, the rig count in the Midland Basin dropped to as low as 58 active rigs, when low crude oil prices led to drastic reductions in drilling operations.
Midland County leads Texas as the most prolific crude oil-producing county, according to the latest data from the Railroad Commission of Texas for May 2021. Midland County was also third in the top ten natural gas-producing counties in Texas, RRC data showed.
The Permian basin, where the Midland basin is located, is expected to drive a modest 42,000 bpd increase in U.S. shale production in August, the EIA said last month.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.