The Permian Basin is easily the most prolific oil-producing area in the United States right now.
The region gets its name from fossils that date back to the Permian age, which were first reported by geologists in 1858.
Little did these scientists know, the outcroppings contained sedimentary rock that would one day prove to be the biggest source of oil in the United States.
In 2007, the area was pumping out 850,000 barrels per day. Now that number has grown to over 1.35 million barrels, and 18% of the oil produced in the United States comes from the Permian Basin.
Its dominance should only grow stronger from here, too, as evidenced by increased activity in the region.
Drillers Go All-in at the Permian Basin
The Permian stands a better chance at maintaining (and expanding) its lead in the industry, due to the relative depth of the shale formations.
In the Eagle Ford, the depth of shale is around 300 feet. In the Bakken, it’s even shallower, at around 150 to 200 feet. According to Tim Dove, the President and Chief Operating Officer of Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD), the shale depth in the Permian is about 4,000 feet.
That’s almost 10 times deeper than the other two shale-rich regions.
This means drillers can be more productive and more efficient. And oil drillers are taking note…
Energy service conglomerate Baker Hughes (BHI) has been keeping tabs on important numbers all over the country – including rigs in operation and whether rigs counts are increasing.
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It just released data showing that oil rigs in the Permian Basin’s West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico fields rose by 63 rigs in the first five months of this year.
That accounts for 50% of the total increase in the United States.
Plus, the increase in horizontal rigs in the Permian region was four times the combined increase in the Eagle Ford in Texas and Williston in North Dakota. Talk about a boom!
Those rigs are being hired by a slew of companies, all looking to make their mark on the region. These companies have seen their share prices move higher on the possibilities of major production increases in the years ahead.
And there’s no reason why you should be left behind…
Three Ways to Claim Permian Profits
Of the major players in the region, one of your best bets is Pioneer Natural Resources (which I mentioned above). That is, if you want deep pockets and experience.
The latter has sold most of its other operations to fund exploration and production at the Permian Basin – a pretty strong testament to the company’s outlook regarding the region and its findings.
Bottom line: The Permian is the next hottest play in shale. And as long as oil prices remain comfortably above $90 per barrel, the companies operating in the region are going to be rolling in the profits for years to come.
And “the chase” continues,