West Texas 2018
March 7-8, 2018 • Midland, TX • Midland Horseshoe Pavilion
The Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico is the nation’s most prolific oil producing area. The Permian Basin is one of the oldest and most widely recognized oil and gas producing regions in the U.S. It covers approximately 86,000 square miles and encompasses 52 counties in New Mexico and Texas. It is a sedimentary basin largely contained in the western part of the U.S. state of Texas and the southeastern part of the U.S. state of New Mexico. It reaches from just south of Lubbock, to just south of Midland and Odessa, extending westward into the southeastern part of the adjacent state of New Mexico.
The Permian Basin is comprised of several basins: the Midland Basin is the largest, the Delaware Basin is the second largest and the Marfa Basin is the smallest. The Permian Basin covers an area beneath the surface more than 250 miles wide and 300 miles long.
The Permian Basin gives its name to a large oil and natural gas producing area. Total production for that region up to the beginning of 1993 was over 14.9 billion barrels. The towns of Midland and Odessa serve as the headquarters for oil production activities in the basin.
There are various producing formations such as the Yates, San Andres, Clear Fork, Spraberry, Wolfcamp, Yeso, Bone Spring, Avalon, Canyon, Morrow, Devonian and Ellenberger are all part of the Permian Basin, with oil and natural gas production ranging from depths a few hundred feet deep to over five miles below the surface.
The Permian Basin is a significant oil-producing area in both the state of Texas as well as the United States, Producing more than 270 million barrels of oil in 2010 and more than 280 million barrels in 2011. 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 already been produced since it’s discovery in 1858 by George G. and Benjamin F. Shumard. Recent increased use of enhanced-recovery practices in the Permian Basin has produced a substantial impact on U.S. oil production.
The Permian Basin covers Andrews, Borden, Crane, Dawson, Ector, Eddy, Gaines, Glasscock, Howard, Lea, Loving, Martin, Midland, Pecos, Reeves, Terrell, Upton, Ward, Winkler and Yoakum counties. Sometimes, Brewster, Crockett, Culberson, Jeff Davis, Kent, Mitchell, Presidio, Reagan, Scurry and Sterling are considered Permian Basin counties. According to the 2008/2009 census, the Permian Basin had a population of over 500,000. If you count the “sometimes” counties, the Permian Basin almost hits 600,000 total people living in the area.
The first well in the Permian Basin was in drilled in Mitchell County. Started in 1921 and completed in 1923, the Santa Rita No. 1 well demonstrated the potential of the Permian Basin by producing for almost 70 years before it was capped off in the 90s. The city of Midland and the Permian Basin area was forever changed by the discovery of oil. Midland has transformed into the administrative center of the West Texas oil fields.
The Permian has been drilling for oil and gas since the 1920s. Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has led to a boom that began in 2012. In 2008, oil production was over 700,000 barrels per day in the Texas portion alone. Between January 2007 and August 2015, oil production grew from over 800,000 barrels per day to almost 2 million barrels per day. When oil prices began their decline in the later months of 2014, the Permian Basin was one of the only places in the United States where oil production continued rising.
Today, the Permian Basin produces one fifth of the nation’s total petroleum and natural gas output. Midland’s economy relies heavily on petroleum; however, the city has also diversified to become a regional telecommunications and distribution center.