Largest continuous oil & gas resource potential ever found in Permian Basin

WEST TEXAS -- The USGS has made a major announcement regarding oil and gas resources in West Texas.

(CBS7 File Photo)

According to a release, the Wolfcamp Shale and overlying Bone Spring Formation in the Delaware Basin portion of Texas and New Mexico’s Permian Basin is believed to contain 46.3 billion barrels of oil, 281 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 20 billion barrels of natural gas liquids.

Back in 2016 the USGS assessed the area and found it to be the largest estimate of continuous oil in the United States.

"Christmas came a few weeks early this year," said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. "American strength flows from American energy, and as it turns out, we have a lot of American energy. Before this assessment came down, I was bullish on oil and gas production in the United States. Now, I know for a fact that American energy dominance is within our grasp as a nation."

“In the 1980’s, during my time in the petroleum industry, the Permian and similar mature basins were not considered viable for producing large new recoverable resources. Today, thanks to advances in technology, the Permian Basin continues to impress in terms of resource potential. The results of this most recent assessment and that of the Wolfcamp Formation in the Midland Basin in 2016 are our largest continuous oil and gas assessments ever released,” said Dr. Jim Reilly, USGS Director. “Knowing where these resources are located and how much exists is crucial to ensuring both our energy independence and energy dominance.”

According to the USGS, these estimates consist of undiscovered, technically recoverable resources. The USGS defines them with the following:

"Undiscovered resources are those that are estimated to exist based on geologic knowledge and already established production, while technically recoverable resources are those that can be produced using currently available technology and industry practices. Whether or not it is profitable to produce these resources has not been evaluated."


Base map from U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service.
Base map from U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service.