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San Juan Basin - Oil & Gas Resource Assessments

— January 25, 2018

The bureau has been involved for many years in studying the geologic framework and petroleum geology of the Mancos Shale, in the San Juan Basin of northwest New Mexico. Development of resources within the Mancos Shale are likely to constitute a large portion of future oil and natural gas production in the state. We have also been developing a summary of the state’s unconventional shale oil and shale gas resources, primarily from formations within the Permian Basin, the San Juan Basin, and the Raton Basin. We have conducted detailed studies of the Woodford and Barnett Shales in the Permian Basin, and the Pierre and Niobrara Shales in the Raton Basin. These unconventional resources are likely to fill the gap created down the line by the decline of the state’s conventional oil and gas resources.

Petroleum geology studies at the bureau of the Tucumcari Basin over a twenty-year period have resulted in extensive leasing and exploratory drilling in the basin, which in turn has resulted in substantial gas discoveries. Exploratory drilling in the Tucumcari Basin is ongoing.

We have also been involved in evaluation of the state’s helium resources, as demand for increasingly scarce domestic sources of this indispensable gas has increased. Finally, in conjunction with the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, we recently submitted a proposal to the U.S. Geological Survey to investigate induced seismicity associated with the disposal of produced water in the vicinity of the Dagger Draw oil field in Eddy County.

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