Regional Report: Permian Basin ///

If oil prices head past $90 per barrel and new oilfield technologies become available, can a boom in the Permian basin be far behind? Active since the 1920s, the basin has produced more than 35 billion bbl and contributes 19% of all US oil. The University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology believes there are still 30 billion bbl of oil hidden in nooks and crannies that can be recovered through enhanced oil recovery (EOR), accessing deeper formations and the twin techniques of horizontal drilling and multistage fracturing that have proven their worth in the shale plays. Production levels are not likely to reach the peak rate of 665 million bbl per year witnessed in the 1970s, but there are plenty of lucrative opportunities both for majors, such as Chevron, and for more than 1,500 large and small independents. The Permian basin is also benefiting from the independents’ ongoing shift of E&P resources from unconventional gas to the more lucrative liquids-rich plays.

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