Largest Oil and Gas Reserves Ever Assessed Found in West Texas

Largest Oil and Gas Reserves Ever Assessed Found in West Texas

David McNew: Getty Images.

David McNew: Getty Images.

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced Thursday the Permian Basin’s Wolfcamp shale and Bone Spring formation spanning parts of West Texas and eastern New Mexico hold the largest potential oil and gas resources ever discovered. Federal surveyors note the Bone Spring plays could offer roughly seven times the amount of oil as the Bakken shale in North Dakota.

In a new assessment, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimated these untapped regions in the Delaware Basin of the Permian contained 46.3 billion barrels of oil, 281 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 20 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, more than two times larger than its 2016 assessment of the Wolfcamp shale play in the Permian’s Midland Basin.

“Christmas came a few weeks early this year,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke in a prepared statement. “American strength flows from American energy, and as it turns out, we have a lot of American energy.” Zinke added, “Before this assessment came down, I was bullish on oil and gas production in the United States. Now, I know for a fact that American energy dominance is within our grasp as a nation.”

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