Southeast New Mexico acquires United flights to Denver, Houston

9/13/2019

HOBBS, NM - The size of the Permian basin in southeastern New Mexico represents one of the largest fields in the United States, and residents of the area are taking action to facilitate the growth of the oil and gas industry in the area. After a recently completed expansion of the regional airport, Lea County will be augmenting the existing non-stop United Express daily flight service to Houston with a new route to Denver, Colorado which begins on October 27.

The remote areas of southeastern New Mexico are experiencing unprecedented growth and economic activity as the oil and gas industry continues to explore the potential of the Permian basin. Ever since the United States Geological Survey (USGS) announced in late 2018 that the Delaware basin, part of the larger Permian basin, is one of the largest continuous oil and gas resources ever assessed in the nation, the modern mid-sized city of Hobbs has been working to meet the needs of the oil and gas industry.

“Lea County, New Mexico, is the second-highest oil-producing county in the United States,” said Missi Currier, president and CEO of the Lea County Economic Development Corporation (EDCLC). “In fact, if Lea County was a state, we would be outproducing California and Alaska. As it is, New Mexico is third in the nation for oil production, behind only North Dakota and Texas.” Currier believes the new direct Denver flight will provide easier access for oil and gas industry professionals in Colorado and North Dakota to the booming fields in Lea County.

The oil-rich Permian basin represents huge potential for oil and gas industries worldwide. The oil field has been ranked at the world’s second-most productive oil field for several years, and recent information has proposed that it may actually hold the number one spot. A recent bond offering disclosed operational details for Saudi Ghawar, the world’s largest conventional onshore oil field, which produced 3.8 MMbpd for 2018. Analysts were quick to note that the Permian Basin produced 3.8 MMbpd by October 2018, with two months of production still remaining in that calendar year.

Lea County is the top oil-producing county in the entire Permian basin and has been developing the New Mexico side for many years. The county has been very proactive in facilitating multiple sectors of the energy industry and meeting its needs. The Lea County Energyplex not only encompasses oil and gas companies but also renewable energy businesses and nuclear operations. Non-stop daily flight service to Houston was established in 2011 and has proven to be a valuable resource for Texas-based oil industry consultants, workers, and executives. “We wanted to find a way to open up our oil fields to Colorado, North Dakota, Calgary and other companies north of New Mexico,” said Currier. The EDCLC branded the new flight service as FlyHobbs and invested in a marketing campaign to introduce it to the oil and gas industry and the entire community.

The EDCLC was first established in Lea County in 1963 to help recruit new, quality businesses to the area and assist with the retention and expansion of existing industry. As a private, non-profit organization, the EDCLC helps to identify incentives, locate real estate, supply data, contact community leaders and support their memberships through networking events and conferences. FlyHobbs operates in conjunction with United Airlines to maintain and expand flight service to key cities that also serve as major air transportation hubs to better facilitate economic development in Lea County.

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