U.S. crude production edged lower in January to 11.87 million barrels per day (bbl/d), from a revised 11.96 million bbl/d in December, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a monthly report on March 29.
Production in Texas fell by 64,000 bbl/d in the month and in North Dakota output rose by 9,000 bbl/d. Meanwhile, production in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico was largely unchanged, according to the report.
The decline in Texas, home to the Permian Basin, the biggest oil patch in the U.S., was the first in about a year, the data showed.
A surge in shale production has vaulted the U.S. to the position of world's biggest producer, but an unexpected crash in oil prices in the fourth quarter forced some producers to pull back on spending and drilling plans for 2019.
Independent producers are slowing exploration and cutting staff and budgets amid investor pressure to control spending and boost returns.
For example, Pioneer Natural Resources Co. recently dropped a pledge to hit 1 million bbl/d by 2026 amid pressure from investors to boost returns. It shifted its emphasis to generating cash flow and replaced its CEO posting fourth-quarter profit that missed Wall Street earnings targets by 36 cents a share.
Meanwhile, gross natural gas production in the U.S. Lower 48 fell for the first time in a year, sliding to 98.12 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in January from a record high 98.29 Bcf/d in December, according to the EIA's 914 production report.
The last time gas output in the Lower 48 declined was in January 2018 when production fell by 1.56 Bcf/d.
In Texas, the nation's largest gas producer, output eased by 0.1% to 25.86 Bcf/d in January from a record high 25.89 Bcf/d in December. That compares with 22.03 Bcf/d in January 2018.
In Pennsylvania, the second-biggest gas-producing state, production rose to a record high 18.56 Bcf/d in January, up 2.1% from 18.18 Bcf/d in December. That compares with output of 16.14 Bcf/d in January 2018.
The last time supplies overwhelmed demand, oilfield service suppliers cut hundreds of thousands of jobs and top firms gushed red ink.
Covey Park co-CEO John Jacobi and Denham Managing Partner Jordan Marye joined the Comstock Resources board following the completion on July 16 of the roughly $2.2 billion acquisition.
“The signal abroad, that Mexico does not respect contracts is very tough, especially when the economy is not going well and you need investors,” said Gonzalo Monroy, an energy analyst.