In recent days the oil giant ExxonMobil has said that it will triple its output from the “Permian Basin” in Texas and New Mexico by 2025 and that it will spend more than $2 billion on the infrastructure necessary to get supplies in, and the oil itself out.
The Permian Basin is a region in west Texas and southern New Mexico that possesses one of the planet’s thickest deposits of rock from the Permian period. Some estimate that 43 billion barrels of oil remain. In recent years, drilling companies have gotten creative in devising ways to continue getting out the oil from strata where it would once have been written off as unreachable. Some of these techniques, such as hydraulic fracturing (aka “fracking”) and horizontal drilling have become matters of political and legal controversy.
The Thing to Know:
The Permian Basin is only part, although an important part, of an explosion in the rate of U.S. domestic oil production in recent years.