'Tapping the Brakes' -- Lynn Helms' description of June oil and gas production

Aug 17, 2018

"I call it 'tapping the brakes.'"

That’s how state mineral resources director Lynn Helms described June oil and gas production numbers.

Afer oil production set a new record in May -- at 1,246,355 barrels a day, production in June dropped to 1,225,510 barrels a day.

"Natural gas production also dropped slightly.

"There's a record number of wells producing," Helms said. "But they're restricting production from wells."

Helms said companies are voluntarily restricting production because of gas capture issues.

The gas capture rate in June was 83 percent, slightly under the 85 percent standard. And Helms said there is indy=ustry concern about the 88 percent capture standard, which takes place November first.

"I think we're going to be looking at a significant amount of non-compliance, operator-by-operator," Helms said. "I don't characterize it as widespread."

Helms said there may be several operators who will have to file gas capture improvement plans.

But Helms said there are two new natural gas processing plants coming on-line later this year, and that could help solve the issue.

One other factor for the lower numbers – wet weather. Helms said there were at least a half-dozen “significant rain events” in June.

"At least three days resulted in the four big oil producing counties shutting down traffic on the county roads," Helms said. "One significant operator had 20,000 barrels a day shut in for two or three days."