U.S. drilling permits fall nearly a quarter in July amid energy pullback

State governments issued fewer U.S. drilling permits in July, the latest sign oil companies are curbing activity as crude prices languish under $50 a barrel.

Oil companies took out 3,338 drilling permits last month, a 23 percent drop compared to the month before, according to data collected by investment bank Evercore ISI.

Texas issued 846 permits, down 27 percent compared to June and the lowest monthly figure since January. It was the state’s second monthly decline in a row, marking the first time that has happened since late last year.

In energy-rich North Dakota and Louisiana, permits dropped by more than two thirds. California and New Mexico also saw drilling permits fall, by 51 percent and 57 percent, respectively.

Related: New U.S. drilling permits surged in March

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