Energy resources, like petroleum, coal, uranium and geothermal, all contribute to New Mexico's economy. Since our establishment in 1927, the Bureau has conducted research on energy resources throughout New Mexico. These are some of our projects.
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.
At the end of 2012 New Mexico Tech embarked on a project in the San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico. This project is a joint effort of the Petroleum Recovery Research Center (PRRC), the Department of Petroleum Engineering, and the Bureau of Geology. Project goals include a more detailed characterization of existing Mancos Shale oil and gas reserves, as well as an evaluation of water resources available for the future development of these reserves.
For 35 years the bureau has worked cooperatively with the U.S. Geological Survey to contribute to the National Coal Resource Data System (NCRDS). The goal has been to get stratigraphic and coal quality data for all of the coal-bearing regions of New Mexico into a national database.
New Mexico currently utilizes low and intermediate temperature geothermal resources for aquaculture, greenhouses, recreation, district heating, and space heating. In recent years there has been renewed interest in exploring and developing these geothermal resources, and in determining the sustainability of existing resources statewide.