The Imperishable Permian Basin

November 2013
Independent Petroleum Association of America

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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