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Bulletin 107 — New Mexico's Energy Resources '75

By Emery C. Arnold, Roy W. Foster, James M. Hill, Frank E. Kottlowski, Gordon B. Page, Marshall A. Reiter, and William J. Stone, 1976, 40 pp.

Since 1969 production of crude oil in New Mexico has decreased each year to 98.6 million barrels in 1974. Oil discoveries have been low for the last 5 years, because exploration has been at a low rate. Exploration for, and discovery of, oil must increase substantially if large production decreases are to be averted. Oil prices probably must increase substantially to bring on increased exploration, .as well as to stimulate secondary and tertiary recovery projects. Natural gas production increased slightly from 1.123 trillion cubic feet in 1970 to 1.230 trillion cubic feet in 1974. In northwest New Mexico production of dry gas from producing wells is expected to decline slowly. In southeast New Mexico development of dry gas has been at record rates, but reserve/pro-duction ratios indicate these new gas reservoirs will be depleted more rapidly than fields in northwest New Mexico. Present development of new gas reserves should maintain current production in southeast New Mexico for several years. Coal resources are estimated at 283 billion tons, of which 6 billion are strippable. Current production is more than 9 million tons a year from the San Juan and Raton basins. If projects contemplating using coal are completed, more than 40 million tons will be mined by 1980 and nearly 60 million tons by 1985. New Mexico produces more than 50 percent of the nation's uranium from the Grants uranium region. The Energy Research and Development Administration estimates that New Mexico reserves ($8, $10, and $15 categories) are more than 255 million tons of ore with a U308 content ranging from 0.16 of one percent to 0.29 of one percent and totalling 516,000 tons. Potential geothermal energy areas occur along the Rio Grande valley and in southwest New Mexico. The most promising are Jemez Mountains, Socorro Peak, Radium Springs, Gila Hot Springs, and Lightning Dock.

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