New Mexico

Major New Mexico Formations

There are two major oil and gas producing regions in the state: one in southeast New Mexico (the Permian Basin) and one in northwest New Mexico (the San Juan Basin). Oil and gas are produced on private, state, federal, and tribal lands in New Mexico. The Permian Basin in southeastern New Mexico and West Texas is the major oil producing region in the state. It covers all or parts of Lea, Eddy, Chaves, and Roosevelt Counties. Since 1920, 20 major oil plays have been exploited in the basin, which contains 3 of the largest 100 oil fields in the United States. The continued advancements in horizontal drilling technology and horizontal completion techniques have expanded the development of numerous plays within the New Mexico portion of the Permian Basin. These plays include producing zones within the formations of the Delaware Mountain Group, the Avalon Shale, the Bone Spring Formation, the Wolfcamp (Hueco) Formation and the formations of the Yeso Group. The San Juan Basin is in the Four Corners region and extends from northwestern New Mexico into Colorado. It covers large parts of San Juan, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, and McKinley Counties and a small part of Cibola County. The San Juan Basin houses one of the largest fields of proved natural gas reserves in the United States. Oil and gas companies are also exploring the Mancos shale and Gallup sand in the San Juan Basin for oil development.

New Mexico Oil Conservation Division

The New Mexico Oil Conservation Division (OCD) is the primary regulator of oil and gas development and production in New Mexico. The OCD gathers oil and gas well production data, permits new wells, enforces New Mexico’s oil and gas laws (70-2-1–38; 71-5-1–23; and 74-6-1–16 NMSA 1978) and rules, and ensures oil and gas development is conducted in a way that protects human health and the environment and the lands of New Mexico are protected and responsibly restored. OCD also administers oil and gas–related aspects of the Water Quality Act and regulates development and production of geothermal resources under the Geothermal Resources Conservation Act.