Delaware Basin

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Delaware Basin

Area: New Mexico

The Delaware Basin is located across southern New Mexico and West Texas. This play is one of the three basins included within the Permian Basin, which is part of the Mid-Continent oil province. The area is surrounded by the Carlsbad Caverns National Park and the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Some of the counties within the play include Eddy, Chaves, and Lea in New Mexico and Jeff Davis, Ward, Loving, Reeves, and Culberson in west Texas. The Delaware Basin stretches across more than 10,000 square miles and provides both natural gas and oil reserves.

Drilling began in the area in the 1920s and has focused mainly on the Wolfcamp and Bone Springs segments of the basin. Most of the initial activity in the Delaware Basin was found in Bone Springs, but as multi-stage hydraulic fracturing developed in the late 1990s, producers focused more heavily on drilling deeper into the Wolfcamp shales. In December 2018, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced that the Delaware Basin holds an estimated 20 billion barrels of liquid natural gas, 281 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and over 46 billion barrels of oil. As technology continues to develop, many expect to continue discovering new, recoverable reserves of natural gas and oil.

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