Texas’s energy regulator issued fewer new drilling permits in March than a year ago, but well completions rose, according to data released on Friday by the state. A total of 1,220 original permits were issued last month, down about 7 percent from the same time last year. Roughly half of the permits were for oil and gas wells in the Midland area, home to the country’s most active shale area, the Permian Basin. The number of completions processed by the Railroad Commission, which regulates the state’s oil and gas industry, climbed sharply this year, a sign that producers were ramping up hydraulic fracturing activities and working through a backlog of drilled, but uncompleted wells, or DUCs. The Railroad Commission has processed 2,712 well completions […]