Eyes on the basin
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Some of the largest energy companies in the U.S. have already invested billions of dollars on claims up and down the Texas-New Mexico state line, tapping one of the nation's richest and most prolific oil and natural gas regions.
Now the stakes just got higher, as the U.S. Geological Survey released a new assessment Thursday that shows portions of the Permian Basin could hold even more promise.
With the potential to double the nation's onshore oil and gas resources, the agency estimates more than 46 billion barrels of oil and some 280 trillion cubic feet of gas are within two formations on the southwestern side of the basin. That's the largest continuous oil and gas resource potential ever assessed.
While agency geologists caution that more study would be needed to determine the profitability of going after the resources, industry groups and top officials within the Trump administration are encouraged and say the assessment underscores the activity that's already
infrastructure. Concerns also have been raised by state Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn about the environmental impacts as state and federal regulators have had a difficult time keeping up with the pace of development across the region.
Dale Janway, mayor of the southeastern New Mexico city of Carlsbad, told The Associated Press that with the news of more resources in the Permian comes greater responsibility.
“We know that we need to redouble our efforts to improve and develop infrastructure in the area and to work closely with the county, state and our business partners to best prepare for the future. We're in it for the long haul,” he said.
The boom also has resulted in a significant budget surplus that will give incoming Gov.-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham and the Democrat-led Legislature more options as they hash out spending priorities for everything from education and public safety to infrastructure.