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.
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