Rachel Spain / Albuquerque Business First / Nov. 30, 2017
New Mexico's monthly average rig count has more than doubled since November of last year, from 31 to 68.
That's according to monthly averages of rig count data from Baker Hughes North American Rotary Rig Count, a weekly census of the number of drilling rigs actively exploring for or developing oil or natural gas in the United States and Canada.
That's even a signficant increase from when oil and gas operations were starting to improve in New Mexico last summer.
Wally Drangmeister, former director of communications for the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, told Business First in January rig counts in New Mexico remained roughly in the range of between 28 and 32 rigs since August of 2016.
New Mexico is doing so well production-wise, experts say it could surpass Texas as the place to drill in the Permian, which straddles both states.
In just the past five months, drilling on the New Mexico side of the Permian expanded 25 percent to 75 rigs, while Texas contracted by 2 percent to 490, according to data compiled by Drilling Info Inc., an Austin-Texas based industry consultant, Bloomberg recently reported. That same Bloomberg story reported New Mexico produced a near-record 462,000 barrels a day in August, twice what it was pumping six years earlier.