Posts Tagged ‘horizontal drilling’

Like its salty neighbor to the east, the Permian Basin of west Texas and southeastern New Mexico has been proclaimed dead on many occasions. Such proclamations of their demise, however, are mere exaggerations as the Gulf of Mexico and the Permian Basin continue to thrive.

These historic oil and gas production powerhouses have delivered to global markets billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas over the past century. Through the booms and the busts, the resiliency of each was made possible by the combination of ingenuity and perseverance and by advancements in techniques and technologies.


Thirty years ago the Gulf of Mexico was called “the Dead Sea” because of the decline in drilling and production activity. Deepwater technology reversed that trend and led to record Gulf of Mexico oil production averaging 1.9 million BOPD in 2019.

Similarly, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology launched the shale revolution, and Permian oil production has risen impressively to 5.4 million BOPD.

Both the Permian and the GoM have the potential to sustain or increase production. The Permian Basin, much of which is privately owned, is more adaptable to market conditions and less exposed to political risks. The offshore program is dependent on effective long-term planning and supportive lease management policies. Unfortunately, the proposed 5 year leasing plan suggests a commitment to throttling offshore production rather than sustaining it. When will our energy policy pendulum swing back to a more balanced position?

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