New Mexico Leads West’s Oil Production Boom In 2017
Record oil production and output levels across several Western states marked an “astonishing” year for New Mexico and several other Western states, according to new reporting data.
New figures for the full year of 2017 released late last month by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) show New Mexico’s oil production topped 172 million barrels of oil in 2017, up from the previous record of 147 million barrels produced in 2015. The state’s December monthly output, 17.2 million barrels, was the highest going back to 1981.
Rep. Larry Larrañaga (R-27) told Western Wire the production in the Permian Basin has been “absolutely great for New Mexico.”
“The volumes coming out of there, the production coming out of there, it’s been absolutely astonishing,” Larrañaga continued.
More importantly for New Mexico, he said, is that the production is a tribute to the companies that work and employ New Mexicans.
“They found the deposits there and found ways to make the wells they’ve drilled maximize the production. In (New Mexico’s) House Appropriations and Finance Committee, I said, ‘TGFF’—‘thank goodness for fracturing,’” Larrañaga said.
“Horizontal drilling has been a great way to get the best production out of those wells, and New Mexico is a big beneficiary of that. I’m elated about it,” Larrañaga concluded.
“2017 was a record-breaking year because of the prolific growth and potential producers are seeing in the Permian Basin,” said Ryan Flynn, Executive Director of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, in a statement.
“Last year, oil and natural gas producers invested more than $13 billion in New Mexico, and these investments are clearly beginning to have positive impact on the state’s economy. New Mexico is rich with natural resources, and safely developing our oil and natural gas economy is key to New Mexico’s future,” Flynn said. The increase in production also means “growth in jobs, the economy, and funding for our public schools and state budget.”
But New Mexico’s record production wasn’t isolated, as many Western producing states had record production or saw a return to record levels from the 2014-2015 downturn. A Western Wire review of EIA records for several states going back to 1981 confirms soaring output across several oil-producing basins—Anadarko (Oklahoma), Bakken (North Dakota), Niobrara (Colorado), and Permian (New Mexico, Texas).
Texas, which shares the Permian basin with southeast New Mexico, saw nearly 122 million barrels of output in December 2017, by far the most productive month since EIA records began. Overall, Texas produced 1.28 billion barrels of oil in 2017, and more than 100 million barrels per month for the first time, according to EIA statistics.
Colorado’s oil production topped 128 million barrels in 2017, closing the year with more than 13.3 million barrels produced in December, a record for production, according to EIA statistics going back to 1981.
Oklahoma’s December monthly output, 15.4 million barrels, is also the highest stretching all the way back to 1981. The state produced nearly 166 million barrels during 2017, the most annual crude oil production since 1984.
North Dakota has nearly recovered to 2014 levels of output, with 388 million barrels produced in 2017.
U.S. monthly crude oil production exceeded 10 million barrels per day in November 2017 for the first time in 47 years, according to the EIA. Oil production per day is projected to increase in 6 out of 7 oil producing regions, with the Permian topping out with an additional 80,000 barrels per day by April 2018.
Forecasts for record oil and gas production in 2018 and 2019 “are largely attributable to increased production of natural gas and crude oil enabled by the use of hydraulic fracturing techniques in tight rock formations. EIA expects increases in natural gas production to be the leading contributor to overall fossil fuels production growth in 2018 and increases in crude oil production growth to the be leading contributor in 2019.”