The number of drilling rigs at work in Texas continued to rise in December with a count of 324 compared to 271 near the end of November, according to December 30th rig data from oil services firm Baker Hughes. Nationally, there were 658 rigs at work compared to 593 at the end of November. Likewise, US crude oil inventories are down compared to November numbers and now amount to 486 million barrels, but are up compared to early December, according to the Energy Information Administration.
US crude production remained about the same in December, now about 8.77 million barrels/day – although this remains down from 9.2 million barrels/day from this time last year. Preliminary Texas production figures for October released by the Texas Railroad Commission showed state output was 2.7 million barrels a day, a slight increase from September production and still trailing last year’s levels.
According to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), Texas set a new electricity consumption record on the morning of December 19th with an hourly peak of 57,958 MW. Many of you may have lost a few plants on that chilly morning! As that cold front made its way across the state, wind turbines were able to crank out 15,195 MW, setting a new record for wind generation.