Safety Articles The Imperishable Permian Basin


Below is an interesting and informative article to help understand what is going on in the Permian Basin. This article re-emphasizes the economic strength and sustainability of our region:

The Permian region, in western Texas and extending into southeastern New Mexico, has been one of North America's major oil and natural gas producing regions for nearly a century. What makes the Permian stand out, besides its size, is its huge diversity. Rather than a single play, it is a collection of regional conventional and unconventional plays, producing from a variety of geological formations covering a wide area and more than a dozen productive formations. Permian wells produce from depths ranging from a few hundred feet to tens of thousands of feet. While conventional exploration and production continues, horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing (in both vertical and horizontal wells) are growing forces in the region, opening up a new, more unconventional chapter. The Permian accounts for about two-thirds of crude oil production in Texas and nearly 15 percent of that of the entire U.S. It also accounts for more than a quarter of U.S. rig activity.


According to an assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 1995, the Permian had more than 100 billion barrels of oil in place. The key, of course, is how much of that can be recovered commercially, a figure that has continued to grow with technological innovation. The USGS's 2007 estimate of technically recoverable reserves of 1.0 billion barrels of conventional oil and 1.3 billion barrels of unconventional oil likely vastly understates the Permian's potential with current technology, as the evolution of horizontal drilling techniques and multi-stage fracturing has dramatically changed the prospects of the Permian. According to the Texas Railroad Commission (which regulates the state's oil and gas activity), "The Permian Basin has produced over 29 billion barrels of oil and 75 trillion cubic feet of gas, and it is estimated by industry experts to contain recoverable oil and natural gas resources exceeding what has been produced over the last 90 years." Perceptions of conventional fields have changed, as well. A more recent USGS study in April 2012finds that 18 existing conventional fields alone hold an estimated additional 2.7 billion barrels of oil that are technically recoverable from the Permian using enhanced recovery techniques.


For more on this story, including the history and Permian today visit

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