Oil and gas in the New Mexico part of the Permian Basin
— Ronald F. Broadhead and Stephen W. Speer


The Permian Basin is one of the premier oil and gas producing regions of the United States. The New Mexico part of the basin has produced a cumulative total of 4142 million barrels of oil (MMBO) and 18.7 trillion ft3 (TCF) of natural gas. It contains 1112 designated, discovered oil reservoirs and 672 designated, discovered gas reservoirs. Of these reservoirs, 1781 have been grouped into 17 plays based on common geologic characteristics. The Permian section has dominated production with 10 plays that have produced 2834 MMBO and 11.2 TCF gas. Production of both oil and gas are dominated by Leonardian- and Guadalupian-age dolostones and sandstones of the Abo, Yeso, Glorieta, San Andres, Grayburg, Queen and Yates formations. Most of the reservoirs in these formations were deposited in a back-reef, restricted-shelf setting. The most prolific Abo reservoirs were deposited in a shelf-margin reef setting. Significant production is also obtained from basinal carbonates of the Bone Spring Formation and basinal sandstones of the Delaware Mountain Group. The pre- Permian section has also yielded major volumes of oil and gas. Reservoirs in the 7 pre-Permian plays have produced 973 MMBO and 6.9 TCF gas. Pre-Permian oil production is dominated by restricted-shelf dolostones of the Ellenburger, Simpson and Montoya formations (Ordovician), restricted-shelf dolostones of the Thirtyone and Fusselman formations (Silurian-Devonian) and open shelf–shelf margin limestones and dolostones of the Canyon and Cisco sections (Pennsylvanian: Missourian-Virgilian). Pre-Permian gas production is dominated by fluvial, deltaic, strandplain and submarine fan sandstones of the Morrowan section (Pennsylvanian) and open shelf to shelf margin limestones and dolostones of the Canyon and Cisco sections.

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Recommended Citation:

  1. Broadhead, Ronald F.; Speer, Stephen W., 1993, Oil and gas in the New Mexico part of the Permian Basin, in: Carlsbad Region, New Mexico and West Texas, Love, David W.; Hawley, John W.; Kues, Barry S.; Adams, Jim W.; Austin, George S.; Barker, James M., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 44th Field Conference, pp. 293-300.

[see guidebook]