Permian Basin >> Overview

Permian Basin Overview

The Permian Basin is one of the oldest and most widely recognized oil and gas producing regions in the U.S. The Permian Basin covers approximately 86,000 square miles and encompasses 52 counties in New Mexico and Texas.

From East to West, the play spans 250 miles and 300 miles from North to South. It is often oversimplified and mischaracterized as a singular play with homogeneous geology and stratigraphy. Unlike other "hot" oil plays such as the Bakken, the Permian contains greater geologic complexity, consisting of several unique sub-basins, each with its own unique characteristics. According to an assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 1995, the Permian had more than 100 billion barrels of oil in place.

Drilling in the Permian began in the 1920s. Over this time period, there have been many peaks and troughs with respect to production levels. Recently, several factors, including elevated oil prices and new technology, have led to a flurry of drilling activity in the Permian. Exploration and Production companies are now drilling deeper to add new zones, putting larger fracs, downspacing and now even drilling horizontally, which is drastically different from the shallow vertical drilling that was done in the past.

According to the Texas Railroad Commission (which regulates the state’s oil and gas activity), “The Permian Basin has produced over 29 billion barrels of oil and 75 trillion cubic feet of gas, and it is estimated by industry experts to contain recoverable oil and natural gas resources exceeding what has been produced over the last 90 years.”

Source : Pioneer Natural Resources

A little history

The first commercial well in the Permian was in Mitchell County, on the eastern side of the Permian Basin. Spudded in 1921 and completed in 1923, the Santa Rita No. 1 well dramatically demonstrated the area’s potential, producing for nearly 70 years before it was capped in 1990.

For years, companies drilled for the Spraberry and extended their vertical wells into the Wolfcamp to gain extra production. In the late 1990s, as multi-stage hydraulic fracturing techniques were refined, producers saw the advantage of going even deeper and commingling more of the Wolfcamp intervals with the output of other productive zones. The simultaneous production of the Spraberry and Wolfcamp shales led to the “Wolfberry” nickname for this combination play.

Permian Basin Map Outline

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Top Operators In the Permian Basin

Permian Basin Operator

Key Permian Basin Statistic (Rigs)

Apache Corp

Ten (10) Rigs Planned For 2017

Chevron Corp

Twelve (12) Rigs Planned for 2017

Occidental Petroleum

Six (16) Rigs Planned for 2017

Pioneer Natural Resources

Nineteen (19) Rigs Planned for 2017

Concho Resources

Nineteen (19) Rigs Planned for 2017

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Top Midstream Companies In The Permian Basin

Permian Basin Midstream Company  Permian Sub-Basin
 Enterprise Product Parnters  NGL Pipelines
 Phillips66  Pipelines
 Plains All American  Pipelines

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Delaware Basin

The Delaware Basin is the western portion of the Permian Basin, separated from the more developed Midland Basin by the Central Basin Platform. The Delaware constitutes a roughly 10,000 square miles or 6.4 million acres extending from the southern New Mexico counties of Eddy, Lea and Chaves Counties southward into the western Texas counties of Culberson, Loving, Reeves, Ward and Jeff Davis.  Of the various pay zones present in the Delaware, the Bone Spring formation has attracted the bulk of industry horizontal activity. However, as activity moves further south, operators are beginning to develop and delineate the deeper Wolfcamp benches.

The Delaware Basin is a multi-stacked play, prospective for multiple stratigraphic layers. Though the majority of Delaware activity to date has focused on the emergent Bone Spring, areas where operators are currently active boast 5-7 potentially commercial zones across a median 3,000 - 3,500' vertical section. While the hydrocarbon mix varies across the intervals, most of them are significantly oil weighted and yield high-BTU gas.

Delaware Basin Map

Source: Shale Experts Mapping

Source : Manti Petroleum

 

The Bone Spring formation includes the three Bone Spring sands and similarly named carbonate sections, as well as the Avalon Shale, that sit between the shallower Delaware Sands and the deeper Wolfcamp. The combined gross column of the Bone Spring formation has a median thickness of ~2,500-3,500', with the formation getting thicker and deeper as it heads east, until it disappears quickly into the Central Basin Platform.

Production has jumped 49% to 1.29 million barrels a day since 2007, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. It may reach 2.3 million barrels a day by 2022, according to Bentek Energy LLC, an Evergreen, Colorado-based energy research firm.

Delaware Basin Plays

 

 

Midland Basin

The Midland Basin is located just east of the Central Basin Platform and runs north-south from southern Lamb and Hale counties to northern Crockett County.  Midland Basin geology is highly variable by location and zone, as the typical well completion in the basin involves commingling production from multiple stacked pay zones. Depending on the geographic region within the Basin, operators are targeting a variety of zones with vertical and horizontal completions.

Midland Basin Map

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Historically, the Spraberry was the most frequent target for single stage completions, but with technological advances, including the ability to drill deeper and more effective fracking techniques, the Wolfcamp zone has been added as a primary target for horizontal development.

Midland Basin Sub Play

Midland Basin Operators/Companies

  • Pioneer Natural Resources
  • Apache
  • BHP
  • Approache Resources
  • EP Energy
  • SM  Energy
  • Diamondback Energy

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Wolfcamp Map - Midland Basin


Permian Basin Geology

Age:Permian
Formation
Basin:Permian Basin
Well Information