Oil trader Paul Vega is at the vanguard of shale’s next revolution.
Driving his pick-up truck through the heartland of the Permian basin -- the vast tract of west Texas scrub where one of history’s greatest oil booms means miles-long traffic jams -- Vega says there’s more crude being pumped than America’s refineries can absorb. Today, the primary task of trading houses like his is getting the stuff overseas.
Permian Basin crude prices have been depressed for months because there haven't been enough pipelines to take all the West Texas crude to the Gulf Coast. Some of those pipeline constraints are now easing, and prices for Permian crude are finally starting to gain some ground, an analysis from the U.S. Energy Information Administration suggests.Read more
When oil and gas started booming in southeast New Mexico, one of the first things people noticed was the traffic.
In 2017 as the boom took hold, the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office reported several accidents on highways outside of city limits, responding to multiple serious crashes – some fatal.
“I believe it’s a crisis,” said Eddy County Sheriff Mark Cage. “The whole area south of Eddy County is really struggling with our roads. There’s so much infrastructure that we need down here.”
Cage said the roads are struggling as state funds are not properly allocated to the region known for one of New Mexico’s biggest economic drivers: oil and gas.
“We generate a huge amount of revenue for the State,” Cage said. “And we need help with our infrastructure, so we can keep generating that revenue and do it safely.”
And the New Mexico Department of Transportation is getting closer to providing the safety needed for industry to continue its growth.
A main highway for oilfield traffic between Eddy and Lea counties is being upgraded, and NMDOT expected ongoing improvements to be finished by winter.
The NMDOT invested about $58 million in federal and state funds into the project, which would upgrade 32 miles of U.S. Highway 82 between Artesia and Maljamar, read a NMDOT news release.Read more
Top New Mexico education officials and business experts observing the just-concluded legislative session in Santa Fe say that while the oil and gas industry is strong, it could face significant challenges in coming years that threaten the state’s budget and a boom in student education funding.
During the 60-day session, bills passed to transition the state to a low-carbon electricity future and empowering the state’s Conservation Division to punish operators. A proposed four-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing failed to move out of the Senate Conservation Committee in late February.
But both educators and business leaders say issues raised during the session that could reappear in 2020 pose a substantial risk in upsetting the robust revenues they regard as instrumental in lifting the state’s education system and providing revenues for much-needed infrastructure investment. They caution against policymakers disrupting the booming oil and gas production on New Mexico’s side of the popular Permian Basin and driving investment and revenue across the border on to Texas’ side of the basin.
This is the first in a four-part Western Wire series.Read more
Oil majors have spent an estimated $10bn buying ground in the top US shale field since the start of 2017
Eddy County — In New Mexico’s Chihuahuan Desert, Exxon Mobil is building a massive shale oil project that its executives boast will allow it to ride out the industry's notorious boom-and-bust cycles.
Workers at its Remuda lease near Carlsbad — part of a staff of 5,000 spread across New Mexico and Texas — are drilling wells, operating fleets of hydraulic pumps and digging trenches for pipelines.Read more
The boom lives on.
As Journal reporter Kevin Robinson-Avila reported Wednesday, New Mexico is enjoying tandem surges from both oil and natural gas industries. Oil production in 2018 jumped 42 percent from the previous year, while natural gas production enjoyed a more measured 13 percent increase in the same time frame.Read more