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Bulletin 9—The Oil and Gas Resources of New Mexico

By D. E. Winchester, 1933, 223 pp., 11 figs., 33 plates, 1 index. Superseded by Bulletin 18. Out of print.


Oil and gas in NM have attained importance only in the last few years. The first important discovery of oil occurred near Dayton, Eddy County, at the Brown Well, which was drilled in 1909. Oil was obtained in small quantities from this well and from wells drilled in the Seven Lakes area, McKinley County, in 1911 and 1912, but important commercial production was not assured until the discovery of the Hogback field, San Juan County, in 1922. In 1923 the discovery well of the Artesia field, Eddy County, was drilled. The proving of these fields aroused a lively interest in the oil and gas possibilities of the state, and many geologists began to study and map areas considered promising for development. Wells were drilled in practically every county in which sedimentary rocks are present, and a number of additional fields of small or moderate size were found. In places, considerable gas accompanied the oil, and in the Jal field in Lea County, discovered in 1927, exceedingly large quantities of gas were encountered.

The Hobbs field in Lea County was discovered in 1928. During the two years following, approximately 130 wells were drilled in the field, their total rated potential production being over 1,000,000 barrels of oil per day. Largely as the result of the yield from Hobbs, NM increased its production of oil from 1,830,000 barrels in 1929 to 10,377,000 barrels in 1930.

The developments at the Hobbs field in 1929 and 1930 greatly increased the interest of oil operators and others in oil and gas in NM, and a flood of requests for information regarding the geology and oil and gas possibilities of the state was received by state officials. The published information on the subject is relatively meager and scattered, and most of the details, particularly of structure, have never been published. In the fall of 1930, the State Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources of the NM School of Mines decided to assemble the available information relating to oil and gas in the state and make the information available to the public in the form of a bulletin.

The purpose of this report is to present information dealing with the oil and gas resources and possibilities of NM. In its preparation the writer has attempted to assemble all the available reports, maps, well logs, and other pertinent data. Out of this mass of information, the material considered most salient has been selected and has been incorporated in the report. An attempt has been made not only to supply the reader with a picture of what has already taken place in the search for oil in the state, but also to inform him of undeveloped possibilities and to suggest some of the most practical methods of attacking those problems which have not been solved.

The sections of the report dealing with the geology of the state are necessarily hardly more than a summary, and some of the areas which, on the basis of available data, are highly interesting are only briefly considered. Innumerable problems of geology, structure, etc., have arisen, and some of these are mentioned primarily to arouse interest, in the hope that others may find the solution.

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File Name Size Last Modified
B9_Plates.pdf 12.21 MB 11/04/2009 03:13:31 PM
Bulletin009.pdf 30.08 MB 08/07/2008 09:24:15 AM